Colorado River Water Allocations

* Re "An Unheeded Water Wake-up," editorial, April 14: We agree that California must move quickly and decisively to reduce its overuse of Colorado River water.

No other agency in the seven Colorado River Basin states has made such enormous strides in conservation as has the Metropolitan Water District. Our agency has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on conservation projects in the Imperial and Palo Verde irrigation districts, from which we received the water saved. However, other basin states will not be convinced of California's commitment to reducing its usage of river water until our state's four agricultural districts are limited in the amount of water they take from the Colorado. We would like to see the agricultural agencies' water use quantified through an equitable process similar to those that brought mutually beneficial agreements on Bay-Delta and State Water Project issues. Those historic detentes indicate that the parties involved go through a period of fighting and name-calling before they reach consensus solutions.

We seem to be in that pre-phase now over San Diego County Water Authority's desire to buy conserved water from the Imperial Irrigation District and move it through Metropolitan's system. While we support the wheeling of water through our system, we do not endorse transfers that impose additional costs on other Southern California water agencies, which San Diego's proposals would do. By preventing substantial costs from being shifted to our 26 other member agencies, we believe we are--as you advised--getting on with the job of planning a secure water future for our customers.

JOHN R. WODRASKA

General Manager, MWD

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