Readers React

Re-thinking how we talk about California's drought

To the editor: George Skelton rightfully harangues California officials for their framing of the water issues facing the state. ("Government is being a drip on the drought," Dec. 14)

Perhaps a more uplifting approach by those writing about and dealing with the drought would be to look at the reservoirs, long described as perilously growing more and more empty, in a more positive light. With the recent rains, we should talk of the reservoirs as being half-full instead of half-empty.

Both viewpoints are true, but only one puts the problem in a more positive perspective and celebrates the progress made with more rain and our efforts in dealing with California's water woes.

Michael Bruen, Valley Village

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To the editor: Skelton thinks California shouldn't produce almonds for export because they require lots of water. It also generates 97,000 Central Valley jobs and $11 billion for California's economy. We should be proud that America produces something the world wants.

We bemoan America's trade deficit and we celebrate other industries that produce something desired around the globe. Silicon Valley's microchips require a lot of water to make; about 10 gallons for one chip.

In February, President Obama said, "Over the past five years, thanks to the hard work and know-how of America's farmers, the best in the world, we've had the strongest stretch of farm exports in our history," adding, "What we grow here and what we sell is a huge boost to the entire economy, but particularly the rural economy."

Skelton may want to think more about the farmworkers, farmers and communities who created this American success story.

Tom Nassif, Irvine

The writer is president and chief executive of Western Growers.

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To the editor: Sounding much like the prodigal son, Skelton wants permission for us all to return to our wasteful water ways.

Apparently, he does not read his own newspaper if he does not understand that a few rainstorms overnight cannot cure a crippling drought any more than a few meals can save a starving man.

Kathy Harty, Sierra Madre

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