Stop pointing fingers
Re “Water rules mandate a different world” (Editorials, April 2): The editorial is at the least naive and at the most misleading. Please stop pointing your finger and start looking at solutions. There are many incredibly good stories of how leaders in government, industry, agriculture and the environmental communities are coming together to find solutions to meeting our water needs during this historic drought.
If we seriously look at agriculture and the ability to produce food, we should be impressed as to what the industry has been able to do with microjet sprinklers, drip irrigation and more. Despite this, thousands of acres of orchards and vineyards will have to be removed, and thousands of acres of cropland will need to be idled. It isn’t just profits that are at stake, but jobs.
The editorial board asked the question: “Are the nut orchards that the water feeds – and their profits for farmers and investors – truly so crucial that Westlands and others can’t scale it back some?” The answer is they have in the past and will do even more this year.
So what is the answer? We’ve been talking about solutions for years, and this year is showing us that we need to get busy.
Dan Spangler, Orangevale
Follow the money
As we all learned, or should have learned, from “Deep Throat” during the Watergate scandal, if you want to know where California’s water goes, “follow the money.”
Who is making money from California water? It’s not the ordinary property owner, or the small farmer – those who haven’t been bought up by the likes of Westlands or Paramount Farms – or the fish. The water, and the money, flow to agribusiness conglomerations. Ask yourself: Who are Gov. Jerry Brown’s political friends and allies? They’re powerful agribusiness and oil companies.
Brown needs to stand up to his buddies, even at the risk of offending them and cutting into their profits, and make sure that shorter showers and drought tolerant landscaping apply to the corporate interests, as well. And no more growing pistachios and almonds, etc., for export, or growing anything on desert lands not suitable for agriculture in the first place.
Kathryn A. Klar, Richmond
More ways to combat drought
Re “‘Unprecedented’ cuts” (Page A1, April 2): I applaud the governor’s call for new water conservation efforts. I wish his announcement had included these three elements:
First, naming a forward-thinking water czar. This person’s No. 1 job is to make California’s future secure. Clearly, this won’t be possible without new sources of water.
Second, this out-of-the-box water czar needs to build a pipeline from the East Coast and Midwest to California. Forget the Keystone XL pipeline. We need to convert snow that’s far away into water here at home.
Third, it’s time to build several desalination plants along the coast. Call it an employment act. Desalination plants are a necessary component of any new water plan.
Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach
Build desalinization plants
California is suffering its worst drought in recent history. The governor just announced a mandatory 25 percent reduction in water use. Meanwhile, he’s proceeding with plans to construct a high-speed train between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Is he unaware that our entire West Coast borders the Pacific Ocean with a potentially unlimited water supply?
At least two California cities are currently moving ahead with plans to desalinate ocean water. Wouldn’t it be a much better use of tax dollars to construct multiple desalinization plants and provide much-needed water to the state than to build a train with an uncertain future?
South Lake Tahoe
This is climate change
This is climate change. A man with a pole walks to a spot in the Sierra Nevada to measure snowpack, but there is none.
This is climate change. The governor announces a 25 percent mandatory statewide urban water cutback.
This is climate change. The global climate we experience today will only worsen because carbon dioxide spewed into our atmosphere by burning fossil fuels will remain there for several centuries.
This is irony. Sens. Mitch McConnell and James Inhofe deny climate science for fear that it is a Trojan horse that will allow big government to control our lives – like controlling our water use.
This is the time. We must act today to combat climate change. A gradually increasing fee on the carbon content of fossil fuels with all funds returned to U.S. households is one significant first step.
Harold Ferber, Elk Grove
Water restrictions not enough
The California water restriction of 25 percent is not enough. California is in a serious drought. It is time for California to really cut back on its water use. No watering of golf courses, soccer fields, baseballs fields and parks. No watering lawns. No washing cars or other vehicles using water. No filling of swimming pools. No watering cemetery lawns. Turn off all fountains. No giving out water at restaurants unless the patron asks for water. Californians need to immediately restrict their water use. What you do affects the rest of the country. We hope someone will step forward and propose these restrictions before it is too late.
Bill Healy, Seattle
A simple fix
Re “Want higher voter turnout? Get rid of special elections” (Viewpoints, March 24): Special elections are expensive. For smaller cities, like the ones I represent in southeast Los Angeles, most can’t afford to hold special elections and so they resort to making appointments to fill vacancies. In reality, for the most part, special elections have been eliminated for those local governments. The real challenge is ensuring that voters have a voice in who governs them.
This is why I introduced Assembly Bill 952, which would require those appointed to fill vacancies to be placed for election on the next regularly scheduled ballot. Currently, appointees serve until the end of a term, resulting in officials serving for years without ever having been elected. This simple fix would also help fight voter fatigue.
Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, Bell Gardens
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