February 1, 2014
Re "A dry, distressing reality," Jan. 28
In three short years, Cachuma Lake — a large reservoir in the coastal mountains of Santa Barbara County — has gone from abundance to scarcity. And this time, unlike in the last crisis year of 1991, buying more pricey water from the state is being weighed as a serious possibility.
With a big population growth forecast for nearby Goleta over the next 15 years, we will again be seeing the same folks as before clamoring for increased water supplies. And like before, they will again be pointing to the state system to solve the problem.
If the explosion of infrastructure on the UC Santa Barbara campus since 1991 is any indication of the changes we are in for (along with a tuition increase from around $2,000 to roughly $12,000 today), then holding on to a little nostalgia for what has passed seems altogether justified. Like so many wonderful places in California where I have been fortunate enough to live, I can say I knew it when.
How many environmentally sound desalination plants could be built with the money that will instead be spent on building the bullet train?
Instead of a nonsensical bridge to nowhere that could lead to the financial destruction of California,
we would have a bridge to salvation. Desalination plants should be built with the same emergency actions the nation took when the Russians were first in space.
Steven B. Oppenheimer
Well, the drought is officially upon us and we'll be asked to take shorter showers and water our gardens less.
How about checking into all that water the gas and oil industries are wasting and polluting by fracking? What can they contribute to the water conservation effort?
Jean de Angelis
After reading the piece about Cachuma Lake drying up (again), I am compelled to suggest that agricultural users should systematically begin to collect rainwater runoff into cisterns.
The rainwater percolates into the ground, where it is needed for crops, but the runoff is not being used.
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