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Deep into water

March 05, 2009

Re "Drought, yes, but it's not that bad," March 3

I am afraid The Times gives the message that with higher water levels in our reservoirs and rivers, it will be acceptable to waste water. It's never OK to waste water.

In landscaping, a host of common behaviors produce wasteful runoff that ends up in the ocean, including hosing down sidewalks instead of sweeping; using sprinkler heads that run into the street instead of drip irrigation; and planting and then overwatering nonnative or tropical plants with high water needs instead of planting native or sustainable plants with low water needs.

A healthier snowpack and higher levels of water in our reservoirs and rivers this year are good news, but will never make it acceptable to be careless with how we use our water.

Sarah Pugh

Los Angeles


The Times makes an apples-to-basketballs comparison of this drought with prior ones. In fact, we are suffering more than a drought. We are suffering a water supply crisis.

The difference? A drought is caused by weather patterns and reduced precipitation. Our current water supply crisis is caused by drought, government-imposed environmental restrictions on water-pumping facilities that much of California relies on, and our state's failure to update a water system that simply cannot serve our 37 million residents.

At the bottom of the article comes a reference to "growing environmental problems in the Delta that have restricted water deliveries." That is the understatement of a lifetime. It has been reported that some cities in the San Joaquin Valley are suffering 40% unemployment because of the water restrictions. Drought is one thing, but this crisis wasn't created solely by Mother Nature.

Tom Nassif


The writer is president and chief executive of Western Growers.

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