Debunking the 80 percent water myth

07/17/2014 2:07 PM

07/17/2014 8:51 AM

Re "The 80 percent should stop wasting water" (Letters, July 16): Steve Mawhinney of Roseville repeats a myth that needs to be loudly debunked rather than simply accepted as gospel. The figure is often repeated by so-called experts at symposiums and meetings. It's a lie.

Agriculture does not use 80 percent of California's water supply. The California Department of Water Resources has long reported that agriculture consumes about 41 percent of the state's water supply. About 49 percent is used for environmental purposes.

Those numbers will be greatly different this year since agriculture received no surface water from state or federal sources.

The only wasteful water practices I see this year are in my city where lawns continue to be overwatered, and people hold weekend car washes at a nearby gas station or business parking lot and let the water run down the street.

-- Todd Fitchette, Tulare

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