Readers React

Make California's water hogs pay

To the editor: I hope you received lots of outraged letters about the jaw-droppingly selfish customer who asked whom he should sue for the decrease in his property's value when his landscaping dies. Meanwhile, the Desert Water Agency general manager who serves this customer, David Luker, had the gall to complain that his agency loses money when people conserve. ("Jerry Brown faces fight over mandatory water cuts," April 16)

Luker was interviewed on KPCC last week and said that residents of his district consume about 160 gallons of water per day per person. On the same show, Compton public works official Chad Blais (also quoted in The Times) said that if his city complies with the State Water Resources Control Board's additional cuts, per-capita use will drop to about 53 gallons per day.

Let's establish a reasonable daily per capita baseline at an affordable rate. People like Mr. Whom Can I Sue should be charged exorbitant rates for their exorbitant usage. If his landscaping is so crucial to maintaining his property value, fine, he can have his lush landscaping, but make him pay for it.

Otherwise, Compton residents are subsidizing the value of his property.

Sarah Tamor, Santa Monica


To the editor: In our family, we are doing everything we think we can to save precious water resources, including planting drought-tolerant plants, turning off the water while showering, saving water while it heats up, saving rain water, installing low-flow toilets and watering twice a week only.

However, since our bill from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power comes every two months, we are unable to determine if we are doing enough to meet the reduction requirements in a timely way. I am sure others feel the same frustration.

There should be some way to determine our water usage more frequently and to make necessary changes more immediately.

Leah MacKinney-Buckley, Westchester


To the editor: Calls for people to reduce water consumption are all well and good, but what about those of us who have been conserving for years?

At our house we have low-flow shower heads and toilets. We live on a very small lot and our house takes up most of the space; the little space we have outside uses very little water. The tiny space behind our house is covered in paving bricks set in sand, so that when it does rain the water goes into the ground, not down the storm drain to the ocean. We have the same paving bricks on the small strips of land on the sides of the house.

In front of our house, we have a driveway with two very small planters on either side filled with drought-tolerant plants. Those plants have a drip irrigation system in the event we do actually have to water them.

And we are being asked to cut water consumption. What should we do, take sponge baths with rubbing alcohol? Honestly, there is only so much we can do.

Irene Nachreiner, Redondo Beach

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