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Topic: Water     Department: Letters

Time to face the music

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With regard to the impossibly complex topic of water availability in the American West, and in California in particular, the only apparent "truth" is to acknowledge the obvious: that there is not enough, nor will there ever be enough water, to meet present and future demand in California (HCN, 12/20/10). That's the hard part. The easier part is to then figure out how to make do with less. Water consumption has to change before any true progress can be made. This means that the old water-rights dictum, "First in time, first in right," has to go out the window -- the sooner, the better. It also means that everyone has a stake in the outcome.

The actions of the folks at Westlands irrigation district can only be rationalized in terms of the rather childish notion of throwing a hissy fit, taking one's marbles and going home. I guess that all those big guns hired away from the Bush administration did not buy that much influence after all. Westlands still has to pay the piper some day. If not today, when?

Jim Wright
El Cerrito, California

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