Letters: California's doomsday droughts

Letters: California's doomsday droughts
A boat launch at Folsom Lake near Sacramento sits along the banks of the drought-ridden reservoir. (Los Angeles Times)

Re "Drought in a state of denial," Feb. 23

Sure, California has had severe droughts in the past, but we haven't been here before. We have not been at 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere the entire history of human existence. The damage has not fully "matured."


Yet our sweet sirens of the carbon age will croon: "We've had droughts before." But if a 100-year drought occurs now every few decades, could we recognize it and respond accordingly? Or would we allow ourselves the false comfort of saying, "Well, gosh, we've had these droughts before"?

A 2011 study by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimated that within a few decades, California will average about two more months of drought per year than before. This is in many of our lifetimes.

Only by respecting scientific messengers and electing responsible public servants can we avert the catastrophes that await our continued indifference.

Jan Freed

Los Angeles

Here we go again, another article about the drought that mentions everything but continued development. We are supposed to tear out our lawns, stop watering and lug buckets of gray water around, while all around us development continues apace.

Just a few miles from my house, hundreds of new housing units are planned. Just this past Friday I got stuck in traffic as vehicles were moving to work on townhouses in Claremont.

I don't know anyone who resents farmers getting water; after all, we eat food too. But people are getting very resentful of being asked to conserve while developers get rich.

Janet Campagna

Alta Loma

Your article was very sobering. However, something that could alleviate water shortages caused by drought was not mentioned. That something is desalination.

Israel has become the technological leader in this field; that country's IDE Technologies is helping to build in Carlsbad what will be the largest seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere. Three smaller desalination plants are already operating in California, and at least a dozen more have been proposed.

It doesn't serve readers to report on a problem as serious as water availability without mentioning a solution that can alleviate the problem. Sure, desalination is expensive and there may be environmental concerns to be studied, but these programs should be looked at and discussed as part of the larger water problem, and as possible solutions.

Norman Redlich


Woodland Hills

We hear a lot of suggestions for conserving water, but one possibility that rarely gets mentioned is the elimination of grass in sidewalk parkways.

Having lived in Arizona for 25 years, I learned that an attractive frontyard can be created without a lawn. Xeriscaping demonstration projects in Los Angeles might persuade homeowners to consider this option.

Another option would be to follow the advice provided to me in a hotel room bathroom on a Caribbean island many years ago: "In these islands in the sun, we don't flush for No. 1."

Lotte Schaefer

Van Nuys