August 29, 2008

Canal, New Reservoirs Not Needed

By Letter to the Editor

The Times (editorial, Aug. 17) noted the shameful actions of the Department of Water Resources in ignoring restrictions on Delta water pumping (the so-called "Environmental Water Account") while enriching Kern County interests in a financial shell game.

DWR already has been exposed as ignoring endangered species laws at the expense of the Bay and Delta's health, and fish populations.

But then the editorial made the mistake of promoting more reservoirs, as others make the mistake of proposing a new Peripheral Canal, which inevitably will lead to shipping more water south, and of tearing down and rebuilding Los Vaqueros, which was just completed a few years ago.

California already has more than a thousand reservoirs, which hold millions of acre feet of water -- 80 to 90 percent of it used for agriculture.

The cheap and ecological answer is simple: conservation and reduced financial water subsidies. Conservation of just 10 percent of water used for agriculture could provide for cities and ease pressure on rivers, San Francisco Bay and the Delta.

Seth Adams


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