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Letters to the editor

Readers are talking about California's water shortage, border enforcement and what children see on TV.

November 29, 2009

Steamed about water

Re “Best answer to state’s water woes may be you,” Nov. 24

How interesting that in The Times' article about California's water shortage, you never once used the phrase "agricultural use." It also was not included in your water-use chart. The column representing agricultural use would not have fit on the page.

I'm all for water conservation, but it galls me to have to beg for an eight-ounce glass of water at a restaurant when about 10 million irrigated acres of California farmland are sucking up 11 trillion gallons of the stuff a year.

Let's talk about what really uses the water in this state. Hint: It's not my shower, lawn or drinking glass.

George Liddle


Re “Best answer to state’s water woes may be you,” Nov. 24

The best answer to water woes is enlightened management.

The carrot will get us further than the stick. Rebates and economic incentives need to be ramped up to encourage savings, and punishment through increased water rates needs to be avoided.

I saved water in a previous shortage only to be punished when my agency increased rates to cover diminished revenues. I won't again be played for the fool.

Water managers and politicians also need to address growth. The economic downturn has masked this issue for now, but if recovery leads again to out-of-control growth, many of us will not save water only to have it diverted to new residents who then crowd roads, parks and schools.

My local water agency has already raised rates 25% this year and has tiered the rates to punish those they think are overusing. When I called them on it, they pleaded that they were just passing on rates from the Metropolitan Water District. My request to know how to get to the MWD went unanswered.

David R. Gillespie



I think that if cities throughout Southern California started adopting ordinances requiring new building projects to be landscaped with plants that are more indigenous to this area, we would see an immediate, dramatic impact, not only in water conservation but on fuel consumption.

We are wasting enormous amounts of water keeping our region blanketed with nice green grass -- which, besides water, uses up enormous amounts of fuel needed to power lawn mowers (that also cause pollution). What's more, decreased demand for fertilizer could lower food costs, as farmers would no longer compete with yard-owners. There would be multiple benefits.

Jorge Rodriguez



Every municipality I've ever driven through in the dark hours of the morning has had water pouring across the streets and down the gutters. What is this heinous waste from? City lawns, of course.

My home is where my children and my wife and I live -- I'm not sacrificing a blade of grass until the same government leaders who implore and coerce us peons to give up our lawns stop wasting water on grass islands and medians in city streets and stop the permitting of new golf courses.

And why does any warehouse need a lawn? Go to any recently built industrial park and you'll find acres of well-tended grass. For what -- truck drivers?

Ken Johnson



Re “Splish, splash ... will we keep saving?” Opinion, Nov. 22

I hope Emily Green will expand on her article to explain how a 20% reduction in water use in Southern California by 2020 is going to support a population increase of up to 43% in the same time period.

Conservation is a necessary goal for us all, but the reality is that this area needs other, much larger sources of new water by then -- or a halt in population growth, which is unrealistic.

The much-ballyhooed water bill recently signed into law will not accomplish anything close to what is needed by 2020. Perhaps the water conservationists and anti-desalination groups can help with specifics instead of platitudes.

Forrest Bonner

Huntington Beach

TV's disturbing picture

Re “Was boy’s beating tied to website?,” Nov. 22

In the reported attack against a 12-year-old red-haired child by children at his school, the focus on Facebook's possible fault is misplaced.

The idea to demonize and beat up red-haired and freckle-faced children was implanted by a television show, "South Park." Facebook was used by the culprits merely as a means of communication, much like a telephone or e-mails.

Our attention should be on the TV networks, producers, writers and promoters of such "entertainment" for youngsters. Discrimination and violent behavior is encouraged on TV. Children learn from television how to be "funny" by being rude and destructive.

Richard A. Finn

Newport Beach

Drawing a line at the border

Re “Border guard,” Opinion, Nov. 23

Talk is cheap. What's the use of having an act to stop the employment of illegal aliens when it is not enforced?

Volunteer border watchers report that the construction of the fence at the U.S.-Mexico border has stopped.

One can only come to one conclusion. Our government wants the flow of drugs and cheap labor to continue coming across that border.

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