Re "Clients pool their power" (Page A1, April 22): The report that the Department of Water Resources will team up with private water contractors to plan transporting water south is a gross abdication of the department's public responsibility. It resembles the infamous act of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who called in oil companies to formulate a national energy plan.
We cannot have any faith in a process where the Westlands Water District, the front for agribusiness interests in the San Joaquin Valley, has direct power in deciding how to deliver water to itself. Westlands is an example of one of the biggest problems with our water policy: inordinate power of private, monied interests so drunk and addicted to taxpayer subsidized water they think it is their birthright.
The department needs to stop this ill-conceived plan and assert its authority and obligation to serve the public interest of the entire state, not just the privileged few.
-- Victor Ochoa, Oakland