Letter to the Editor

Time to restrict growth

San Luis ObispoFebruary 24, 2014 

Thank you for the multiple articles about drought in our region and state. There are almost four times as many people in California as when I was born, but there is no more water. Along with population growth, agriculture demands more water as irrigated land area increases, and all the other species have needs as well.

Knowing that drought is not an anomaly here, I was saddened to read our SLO mayor say we are “in excellent shape.” (Viewpoint, Feb. 14) She gave a good history of the development of multiple water sources. But after several years of below-average precipitation, with our reservoir levels low and small hope of rains to fill them, we should be encouraging residents to conserve now.

But the city is instead looking at several large annexations, even as the Margarita and Orcutt areas are only beginning to develop. If all the approved plans were already built, our water supply would look even more bleak.

When the city agreed to take Nacimiento water, we were told rates would go up every year for eight to 12 years, but new development would pay for it. Will we get back the money we are fronting? I don’t think so. Will there be plenty of water for all of us when everything is built out? I don’t think so.

I have been told we can’t use water to restrict growth. Really? Water is a finite resource. There isn’t going to be any more. Will we ever learn to say “no” to development for which we cannot provide basic resources?

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