Letters: Water issues and agribusiness

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/letters/la-le-1003-thursday-water-california-20131003,0,5288796.story LA TIMES

October 3, 2013

Re "Voters wary on water issues," USC Dornsife/Times Poll, Sept. 30

The poll and the article on Californians' attitudes toward financing huge water projects ignore a very big piece of the picture.

We don't need these water projects, which will further strain fish habitats in Northern California rivers and saddle us with more debt. Instead, we need to fairly price the over-strained supplies already being shipped south. This will result in lowered flows that still leave adequate supplies for cities and for farmers who can pay a fair price.

Articles that cover California's water issues should let readers know that 80% of surface managed water supplied in California is consumed by agriculture, and at very low rates. The source of California's water problems is not really about wastrel suburbanites or lack of infrastructure; it's about the political power of agribusiness driving water policy in California.

If Sacramento politicians were able to break free from their paymasters, solutions would quickly be found.

James Loewen Santa Monica