The choice: your drinking water, or your green lawn

To the editor: Thanks to Jay Famiglietti for the no-nonsense piece on water use in Southern California. ("How much water does California have left?," Op-Ed, July 8)

Where I reside in south Orange County, nearly all of the potable water is imported, and yet the sprinklers are on almost every night to keep the ornamental lawns in my community emerald green all summer long. This, while small-scale food producers in the Central Valley are left high and dry.


Are we stupid? Didn't we get the lesson from the Easter Islanders that using up crucial resources will drive us to extinction?

I would gladly sacrifice all the lawns in the world for drinking water when I need it. Too bad we will probably have to make that desperate choice before people demand sensible water policy.

Michelle Mareks, Laguna Woods


To the editor: Famiglietti got it right when he identified the three main dwindling sources of our water: snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada, local groundwater and imported water from the Colorado River basin.

The one thing he didn't identify was the primary factor behind this crisis: human-induced global warming resulting from overuse of fossil fuels.

The crisis will continue to reduce snowmelt and put impossible demands on groundwater, affecting the entire Southwest for the foreseeable future. This and other related crises are not acts of God or the result of natural cycles.

True, we need to take steps to deal with severe water shortages, but more importantly, we need to address the root cause.

George Shea, Studio City


To the editor: Why do many articles on California's strained water supply ignore the elephant in the room?

California no longer has the reliable water resources to support its residents, yet new apartments and homes with pools as well as business complexes with fountains and green space are approved for construction in great numbers every year. Are the politicians so afraid to say no to the developers that they are willing to sacrifice the rest of us?

Place a moratorium on permits for new construction and swimming pools until this crisis has passed.

Terrie McKinley, Aliso Viejo



To the editor: Famiglietti communicated well the serious nature of our water needs in the future.

I have a suggestion for Sacramento: Forget the bullet train and instead invest billions in building a pipeline to shunt water from the wetter Pacific Northwest to California. Surely the politics can be overcome and deals can be struck with Oregon and Washington.

If an oil pipeline can cross Alaska, a water line surely can be constructed to connect to our present system in Northern California.

Milt Halsted, San Juan Capistrano