Letters to the Editor

LETTERS Water crisis, golden years

Portions of the two largest north-south water delivery systems – the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project – run side-by-side near Patterson in Stanislaus County.
Portions of the two largest north-south water delivery systems – the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project – run side-by-side near Patterson in Stanislaus County. Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

Groundwater is running out

Re “Stretch urban water before hitting farms” (Viewpoints, April 9): I was very disturbed to read the op-ed by the head of the Department of Water Resources, someone who is supposedly looking out for the interests of Californians. Mark Cowin states that “we are not going to run out of groundwater this year or next.” He doesn’t know about the crisis facing many rural people who depend on their wells.

We own and co-run a small farm near Chico, in the midst of thousands of acres of almond orchards. A few years ago our well, which had served its users since 1952, ran dry. Our family had to haul buckets of water from the river to keep a few trees alive and flush drains. We drove home through fields overflowing with water pumped from the deep wells of the large almond growers.

We learned that many other households had the same problem, and many more are having them now. We had to drill a deeper well, but we can’t afford to keep up with the ever-deeper wells that Big Ag is drilling.

Jesse Drew, Davis

Big Ag takes too much water

The state should supply life-giving water fairly to all of its citizens and not benefit the few Big Ag corporations that produce water-demanding almond, alfalfa and rice. Those three products employ few workers due to automation. In contrast, vegetable production employs a large number of workers.

Water conservation and recycling should be mandatory throughout the state, but it is more efficient to concentrate on the biggest users first. Almonds, alfalfa and rice should be cut first.

We need conservation and recycling to benefit the majority of the people in fair and sensible ways since California will be permanently drier as climate change progresses. It seems the problem starts with the Department of Water Resources.

Matania Ginosar, Carmichael

Pollyanna, I am not

Re “Well, aren’t you special?” (Letters, April 9): When I read a letter like the one by Janet Taylor, I am amazed that there are folks who can find an avenue to disparage others as we all attempt to do our best with the current water crisis. Each person in California is being asked to make major sacrifices. However, your success does not translate into permission to talk down to others. I believe the words I am looking for are patience and understanding as we all tackle these water restrictions.

Marie Fleischhacker, Meadow Vista

State needs lifelong communities

Re “Let’s make the Golden State a destination for the golden years” (Viewpoints April 9): Joe Matthews is right to point out the wisdom in the legislative report on aging, and the need for it to receive greater attention and action. Where he missed the mark, however, was in his characterizations and some of his proposed solutions.

Many older adults also want bike lanes and other mobility options as well as the conveniences of urban living. These are not just for the young. Likewise, building more senior centers in the Central Valley is not the answer. We must build and re-engineer our cities to serve all ages and abilities. Framing solutions with an inter-generational mindset is critical. Only then, will we be truly fulfilling the golden promise.

Joan Twiss, Sacramento

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