Water Use

The recent report of outrageous water consumption by some of our wealthy "elite" in a period of catastrophic drought prompts this letter. They are irresponsibly trying to reproduce the green of Ireland in a desert environment. From the sparse data supplied, their daily consumption varied from 1,000 to 2,000 gallons per acre.

Any successful schedule of water rationing must be fair and equitable. A simple proportional reduction by 30% penalizes those citizens who have for years been water-conscious and have already in place a lifestyle that recognizes we live in a desert.

My wife and I live on half an acre with all modern appliances, 10 citrus trees, eight assorted fruit trees, a vegetable garden and a small lawn. Our water consumption varied from about 200 gallons daily in winter to 600 gallons daily in summer, with a yearly average of 380 gallons daily. We, and our flora, could easily survive on 300 gallons daily; we alone on 200 gallons daily.

The fair way of rationing water is on a per-capita basis with an allowance for trees and gardens. In addition, for each billable period, the consumption for each household should be publicly posted; perhaps in the post office. The objection that it might "expose them to ridicule" is precisely the advantage of public disclosure.

W. L. CAREL, Vista

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