PLATFORM : Water as Wealth

<i> Margaret Mason, a Santa Barbara resident, talked to The Times about water restrictions adopted by her city because of the drought. </i>

The city doesn’t accept . . . state water because we don’t want rapid development. I support that. Some communities have no planning--and they have overcrowded conditions. That’s the kind of environment I rejected when I moved here from Los Angeles.

I’m aligned with the slow-growthers, but I have mixed feelings. Santa Barbara is the only community in California that bans lawn watering. If you stay within the overall (water-use) limits, you should be allowed to water your lawn.

I think politicians imposed the ban so they could claim they were taking direct action. We’re supposed to look around and see brown lawns and feel good because they’re doing something.

If the drought continues, differences between the haves and have-nots will be heightened because some people are actually paying to have companies bring in water from outside sources. They buy it to water their lawns because they can afford to sustain an aesthetic environment. That’s causing something of an uproar.