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Wading into the water debate

August 08, 2008

Re "Turning the tide in the water crisis," Opinion, July 31

The hurried "compromise water bond" proposal from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sen. Dianne Feinstein might seem like the answer to our water crisis. But unfortunately, as with many hasty proposals, the devil is in the details.

Only a small portion of the money would go toward water recycling, water quality and groundwater protection. Billions could go toward dams. A new proposed canal would siphon water away from the imperiled San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta system, extending and exacerbating loss of fish habitat.

None of this can create new water supplies when the system has a finite limit. Groundwater storage and stronger recycling methods, along with desert-friendly landscaping in residential areas, would go a long way in securing water supplies throughout California. Orange County and San Diego County have such programs in place and the city of Los Angeles is moving (slowly) in the same direction.

Finally, let us take an honest and open look at the sponsors supporting the water bond. Feinstein represents corporate farmers whose water practices allow them to benefit from taxpayer-subsidized water. In times of water shortages and high demand, this water is sold at great profit by the farmers to the municipal users downstream rather than used on the crops for which it was initially given to them.

Michael Schweit

Southern California

Outreach Coordinator

Water4Fish.org

Northridge

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Let's be honest. There is no "water crisis." Sure, we live in an arid climate and all can do more to save water. But to call a crisis when none exists is lazy governance. Fix the underlying problems and stop asking for more money to do so.

First, toss out the environmentalist lobby, which desires no less than a radical restructuring of society to protect wildlife over the needs of humans. Second, remove incentives for the millions of illegal immigrants who flock to California on the taxpayers' dime. Finally, elect competent leaders who serve the citizens of this state instead of chasing the next campaign dollar.

These and many other ideas will solve California's water problems, not yet another bond package that this voter will not support.

Andy Decker

La Canada Flintridge

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After reading this article, I am no closer to understanding this plan. What I find mind-boggling is that our elected officials refuse to ask California residents to make simple changes in their lives, which would preserve water at this much-needed time.

I still see people watering their lawns in the middle of the day, washing their cars at home with hoses and running the washing machine daily. If we don't start changing our water-use habits, it's a guarantee they'll be changed for us.

Christina Cox

Santa Monica

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