Opinion

Letters: Using water in efficient ways

OpinionWater SupplyHydroelectricityEnvironmental IssuesRenewable Energy

Re "Liquid energy," Opinion, March 3

In referring to the energy used to pump imported water over mountains, Catherine Wolfram and David Zetland should remember that what goes up must come down. Water that is pumped up a mountain comes down the other side, where electricity is generated at hydroelectric plants.

Of course, some energy is lost, but a good rule of thumb is that this process is about 80% efficient.

But unlike electricity, water can be stored.

Pumping generally occurs during off-peak hours when electricity is cheap and energy comes from the most efficient generators on the grid. Generation from the water's downward flow is postponed to on-peak times when prices are high and less-efficient generators can thus remain offline or on standby.

Furthermore, the Department of Water and Power's Los Angeles Aqueduct is gravity-fed and requires no pumps at all. The numerous hydroelectric plants along the aqueduct are net producers of energy.

Walter Hall

North Hollywood

The writer is a retired power engineer.

In none of the commentary or reporting I've come across on the drought have I once heard or read any mention of the elephant in the living room: golf courses.

Individuals have been asked to replace their lawns with drought-resistant plantings, take shorter showers and even save a couple of tablespoons of water by using dropped ice cubes to water plants.

Has anyone looked into the insane water consumption required to keep many acres of pristine lawns lush, thick and green, especially in the desert areas of the state such as Palm Springs? It seems that golf courses have become such a third rail in the politics of water consumption that they are never mentioned in discussions on the drought.

I don't suggest pulling the plug, literally, on all existing courses, but I would like to see a moratorium on the construction of new ones.

Andie Harvey

Vista, Calif.

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