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Can money solve water woes?

July 19, 2007

Re "In a dry time, plans for water projects flow," July 17

Neither Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's nor state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata's (D-Oakland) proposals would provide long-term solutions to California's water shortage. A dam doesn't help if it doesn't rain.

Just like we have highways and power transmission lines that connect the West Coast to the East Coast, the South to the North, we need an interstate network of pipelines that redistribute and balance regional needs of supply and demand for water. This would call for joint and coordinated efforts among most of our states. I concur with Schwarzenegger's observations: a second dry winter "will be catastrophic" and "we have to build." Fair enough, but let's build something that works.




So Schwarzenegger, faced with the specter of severe drought, is appealing for a $6-billion investment in water works. And Perata is calling for a $5-billion water bond measure on next year's ballot. But the call for more spending comes as bureaucrats weigh how to spend $10 billion from previous water bonds. Perata's plan would give money to regions in the state to solve their own problems. Perata criticized the governor's proposal as a "top-down solution to a bottom-up problem."

Solution: Take the current $10 billion and set aside $5 billion for the Perata plan and the other $5 billion for the Schwarzenegger plan. Everybody wins, nobody loses and the voters are spared yet another bond issue. I'll drink to that!


Mission Viejo


There is not enough water for the people who live in California now. Just the thought of 24 million new people coming to California by 2050 is chilling. Where is the water going to come from? How is the infrastructure going to accommodate these 24 million? Where are they going to live?

The brakes must be put on any new immigration to California. There are other states with an abundance of water. If dense apartment complexes are going to be built, the developers should pay $100,000 or more for each unit to go toward building desalination plants. Citizens living here now should not be asked to conserve energy and water just so future residents will be able to reside here.


Westlake Village

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