Readers React

Are we taking the drought seriously enough?

To the editor: I got a postcard from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power last week informing me how to conserve electricity during hot summer months. Good to know, despite the absence of an electricity shortage. ("L.A's water ruler, DWP chief Marcie Edwards, on keeping the city hydrated," Op-Ed, Aug. 19)

But for months there's been a barrage of news stories about the severity of the drought statewide and the need for real conservation to avert a crisis, as articulated by everyone from Gov. Jerry Brown on down. And yet, when Patt Morrison asked DWP General Manager Marcie Edwards if consumers need to lower their expectations about water cost and availability, she answered, in part: "A bit of both.... People have to pay attention and adjust their habits."

Really? What kind of message does such a blase statement send to customers about the critical need to conserve water at a time of severe drought?

Perhaps the how-to-conserve-water postcard from DWP will arrive when it pours in Los Angeles again.

David Brown, Sherman Oaks


To the editor: As Edwards points out, the frontier for urban water conservation is landscaping.

While many local utilities are supporting the conversion of conventional lawns into sustainable gardens, we should focus on native plants as the backbone of that transformation.

California native grasses, wildflowers, perennials and trees use 80% less water and make for beautiful gardens. Native plants create habitats for wildlife, attract pollinators for food crops and take less time to maintain.

California plants should go in California gardens.

Kitty Connolly, Pasadena

The writer is executive director of the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants.


To the editor: For all of the information cascading (no pun intended) at us about the drought, it would be easier to be convinced of the seriousness of the issue were we not just nibbling around the edges of potential remedies.

For example, the coastal town of Cambria has had a water issue for years. Ask for water at a restaurant there. You will be sold a small bottle of water and a cup with ice for 30 cents.

Contrast that with what happens in L.A, where you barely take a seat and you have water in front of you, requested or not.

L.A. still has not addressed the gray water issue. All new construction should require recapture from showers and appliances.

There are many other innovative steps that could be taken to mitigate the current, and probably future, water shortage in California.

Tom Fleishman, Valley Glen

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