Development Should Halt Due to Drought



California’s top water experts say that we are in the third year of drought that may very well become the worst drought in 500 years. That’s right 500 years.

We are going face mandatory water rationing very soon. Our state’s reservoirs are already nearly empty, or at least dry to critically dangerous levels. There is virtually no snow pack in the Sierras. Yet, we do nothing to alleviate our water problem by way of developing salt water conversion facilities. Any large-scale conversion facility is years away even though the need surpasses being urgent.

Let’s talk about conservation versus outright waste. We have embarked on a personal water saving program around our home, with low flow toilets, a recirculating hot water system, and a 60% reduction of water usage for landscaping. While we do our share, neighbors overwater their landscaping, water the street daily with their lawn sprinklers, and their gardeners are oblivious to the water shortage, with walkways hosed down regularly.

The Irvine Company and other developers and land owners continue their plans to develop south county with massive new housing communities and even a new city. I guess it is up to me to conserve while they prosper with their developments.

No water, no jobs, and no food, the situation is just that serious. You can’t grow crops or raise livestock without water. It’s that serious and drastic action is required  by politicians and planners without further delay.

A good start would be leveling the playing field between the “them” (water users) and us (water savers). A moratorium on development would be a step in the right direction.  I’ll bet the politicians and planners in Irvine and in our county government wouldn’t dare say “stop, enough” to the big monied developers, but they should, at least until we have sufficient water available.

Don Knapp, Laguna Beach


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