North County Times By TONY BOGAR – commentary | Thursday, April 17, 2008

California has enough water. Surprised?

We hear endlessly about the “water crisis.” Politicians like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sen. Dianne Feinstein are pushing to build more dams, at a cost of several billions dollars each. Even the Peripheral Canal has resurfaced as a solution to our crisis.

But do we really need to pile on to the state’s debt and wait decades for these “solutions” to be built? Isn’t there a quicker, cheaper, smarter answer to our problems?

Let’s be clear. California certainly faces major water challenges like global warming and increased demand. So some people are rushing to build dams —- expensive 19th-century solutions to 21st-century problems.

We don’t need solutions that are expensive, destructive and useless. A little common sense shows us that the real answers to our problems are easy, efficient and smart….

Common sense can help to save water. Conservation really does work. California has cut its per capita water use by 50 percent during the past 40 years, even as the state has boomed.

Simply using the tools we already have (new appliances, drip irrigation), we can easily cut our water use another 20 percent and still support a growing population and a bigger economy.

Recycling water is efficient. Why spray clean, clear drinking water on our golf courses and median strips? We can use the rainwater than runs into our storm drains and recycle our wastewater. Through reclamation and recycling, we can save enough drinking water each year for 1.5 million households —- roughly all of Los Angeles.

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