I attended the Office of Technology Assessment workshop on Aug. 14, regarding the proposed water pipeline from Alaska to California. My understanding of what was said at the workshop differs greatly from what The Times reported on Aug. 15. Your article implies that the workshop participants and the Office of Technology Assessment concluded that the project was not feasible and shouldn't be pursued. This is wrong. A majority of the participants at the workshop believed that, for the long term, California will need additional sources of water and that it would be premature to discard the Alaska pipeline alternative at this time.
After five years of drought, all interested parties throughout the state are actively pursuing solutions to our water problems. The topics of these discussions include alternatives, such as conservation, water transfers and desalination. These are all worthwhile and must be vigorously pursued, but they all have a limit as to how much water can be produced as well as their own environmental, social and legal obstacles. The population of the state is expected to increase at a significant rate. It would be unwise of us to eliminate a possible water supply source as significant as that presented by Alaska. The Office of Technology Assessment will now be preparing a report for Congress on the feasibility of the pipeline. I will be urging them to continue the research efforts needed to more closely examine this alternative.
Supervisor, Second District
Los Angeles County