Letters to the Editor: Serious about the drought? Pay farmers handsomely to give up their water rights

A buoy sits on a lake bed that was once covered by Colorado River water at Lake Mead on June 28, 2022.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

To the editor: Eric Kuhn proposes a solution to breaking the impasse to allocating water between California and the other states drawing from the Colorado River. Unfortunately, he failed to mention the one ingredient that will actually solve the impasse: money.

Large water users in California have water rights that they will not give up unless paid an amount of money commensurate with their actual value. And that value can be determined by what is done with the water and the end value of that use. If it’s alfalfa feed or almonds, the end result of the water use is the value of those crops.

If other users want that water for cities or other more profitable agribusinesses, then they should agree to pay the farmers to give up their water and their farms while earning the same income from the sale of their water rights.


Lester Ostroy, Redondo Beach


To the editor: So the state is going to wait until the Colorado River is close to drying up like the Great Salt Lake. And then what?

Right now the country of Israel is using desalination plants and pumping an abundance of water into neighboring Jordan. California has a very long coastline and could build numerous plants to help with the water shortage.

Don’t let this serious issue be a political one. If California is waiting on any other legislature to actually do something on the Colorado River, please stop. Less talk, more action.

Roger Robbins, Sebring, Fla.



To the editor: There is only one solution to vanishing Colorado River water.

All Americans, much less the world, use goods and agriculture from the American southwest. The nation spent billions building interstate highways. We pipe oil from Canada to Texas.

Water must be imported via canals, pipes and pumps from where there is an abundance.

Richard Melniker, Los Angeles