Letters to the Editor: ‘Steal’ water? California is just trying to grow this country’s food

An aerial view shows, at a distance, a vehicle moving along a narrow bridge over brown earth.
A truck crosses the Enterprise Bridge at Lake Oroville, which stands at less than one-third full.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Reading the letters from out-of-state readers about California’s water shortage, it is apparent that we are not the United States of America, but every state for themselves.

We have people from outside California talking as if they hope for the failure of the state. What these people forget is that our state supplies more than a third of this country’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts. California’s failure will come at a cost to the rest of the country.

The last time this country was united was after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. We can’t succeed as a country when people on both sides are wishing the worst upon entire segments of our society. Politicians have been successful in dividing the country, and they have no problem continuing to set us against each other as long as they can win an election.


Linda Shabsin, Diamond Bar


To the editor: Thank you for the letters from other parts of the county regarding the possibility of an interstate water pipeline.

Some of the letters made me shake my head in disbelief. One such letter was from a reader in Alabama, a state that has put its hand out to taxpayers after hurricane devastation. I won’t even mention floods or tornados.

You would never hear a Californian complain about having to chip in to rebuild Alabama.

James Rath, Santa Paula


To the editor: These discussions on pipelines miss one important thing.

I live next to Yosemite in the forest that is the watershed for the Central Valley. Without this watershed, the farms in the valley that produce at least 30% of the U.S. food supply are dead.

A few years ago, a massive pine tree die-off turned every mountain in sight completely brown. I lost dozens of trees myself, including several beauties that were 200 years old.


Have you ever seen someone touch a match to a dry Christmas tree? It explodes in flames. Imagine one 150 feet high. Imagine 150 million of them covering every mountain for more than 100 miles.

I spent more than a month last year with my valuables stacked in the living room, ready to evacuate for the Creek fire. The road to Yosemite is burned out on both sides for miles.

That’s the problem. If I had my trees, you wouldn’t be worrying so much about your lawn. No amount of water conservation or pipelines is going to solve that. We need rain.

Unless you can hook those pipelines and other projects up to a sprinkler system for this mountain forest, you are wasting your time and money.

Clifford Schaffer, Oakhurst, Calif.