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Dividing the water

June 07, 2008

Re "Time to sacrifice," editorial, June 2

It is easy to say that all interests in our state must share the pain of making do with less water as we work to survive an ever-increasing demand for what is now a limited supply. In fact, because of the nature of agricultural water deliveries, farmers almost always receive the first cuts when water supplies are low.

The majority of agricultural acreage had already experienced at least a 30% cut when the governor announced his plan to reduce water consumption by 20% over the next 12 years. Farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley have been living with an average 35% cut in water deliveries since 1991.

How much more can California's agricultural industry bear and still be able to provide Californians with the high-quality, locally grown produce they cherish?

Mike Wade

Executive Director

California Farm

Water Coalition

Sacramento

The problem with AB 2175 is that it sets less stringent standards for agricultural users. We need a state program that would assist farmers financially as they line canals and irrigation ditches and switch to drip-system water lines. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger must include farmers in the bill and should provide them with financial assistance to cut their usage.

Paul Carlton

San Clemente

Who can question your editorial urging everyone in the state to share the pain of conserving water?

But you forgot to mention the delta smelt, for the preservation of which a judge has ruled that we must set aside whatever water is necessary.

Will the fish be asked to share in the pain?

Arthur O. Armstrong

Manhattan Beach

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