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Readers React

California's water haves and have-nots

To the editor: You just don't get it, do you? You just don't understand the concept of the word "privileged," do you? ("California's wealthy lagging in water conservation," April 5)

You just don't comprehend that in our society there is a small privileged class (some call it the 1%) that by inalienable right possesses the wealth and fortune of our civilization. The rest of us are duty bound to labor and sacrifice in order to maintain and increase the status of the privileged class.

And you even have the nerve to suggest that Beverly Hills, for example, should cut back on its consumption of water? What gall! You should instead suggest ways that the rest of us can further restrict our water consumption in order to maintain the status of the esteemed and respected privileged class.

Are you some kind of socialist?

Robert L. Cleve, North Hills

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To the editor: It seems from the recent articles in The Times regarding water usage that central to the success of conservation efforts across California will be the issue of fairness. If the affluent can consume more water than less-affluent people, or if the well-heeled can just pay a steeper fine for more water, any conservation plan is unlikely to succeed.

There is no good reason why a family of four in a large house with extensive grounds in Beverly Hills or Tustin should get more water for consumption than a household of four in Compton or Boyle Heights. Having more rooms or a thirstier yard is irrelevant in terms of household need.

Philip Brimble, Los Angeles

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To the editor: So people living on large lots with relatively small family units use more water on a per capita basis than those who must cram more people into smaller homes or apartments. At least my tax dollars didn't go to learn this.

It might actually have been useful to study whether "water thrifty" residents are in fact conserving and reducing usage — or are they just as "oblivious" as the better off?

Carolyn Gill, Redlands

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To the editor: Water wars, class warfare, it doesn't really matter how one labels it: We are in a drought and need to use all available methods to address the crisis.

The wealthy homeowners are guzzling up water at an unreasonable (and unabated) rate. Given this excessive use, it seems fair to say that the time has come to soak the rich as at least a piece of the puzzle to help get us through the drought crisis.

Loren Mark, Los Angeles

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To the editor: New slogan for pro-environment lawn-owners: Brown is the new green.

Helen H. Gordon, Santa Barbara

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