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Letter: We need to conserve water, but without empowering bureaucrats

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Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2014 12:03 am

Last week an article appeared on Page 2 entitled “California Drought.” The governor has called for a 20 percent “cut back” in water consumption. Where does this 20 percent number come from? Did he pick it out of the air, or is it the result of careful consideration?

The State Water Resources Control Board leaped forward to vote that same day fines up to $500 per day on people who waste water. My first reaction is to ask, how does the water board have authority to fine a citizen for anything whatsoever?

If you had the opportunity to drive to Reno in March, you would have seen virtually no snow alongside the road and mountains. You will agree that we have a water crisis now. We need to be more efficient. We need to use less water. We should not waste it.

But in my opinion, that is not a good reason to empower career bureaucrats in Sacramento to design and impose one-size-fits-everyone standards statewide. A few communities will run out of potable water. Some communities will have a sufficient amount. The important lesson from this crisis is that we need more storage — more dams and reservoirs, not billions invested in a new, better delivery system.

The consumption numbers in this article do not add up to a 1 percent increase. The northeastern corner used more, as did the southern coastal section. But the Bay Area and the Southern California cities used less. How can we have an increase, if the areas containing half the population used less? Do we have a report in front of us that is another Gulf of Tonkin report?

Ted Hutz


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