Timothy S. Poole: Central Valley Project not built only for farmers

December 22, 2013 

Regarding “Why so much water for ducks?” (Letters, Dec. 16.): The writer questioned the value of “free” water for ducks, which brings out more basic questions. Why should a public-funded project serve only one or a few private benefactors? The Central Valley Project (over 50 years old now) was not built just for farmers. There were recreational, flood control and wildlife (to name just a few) interests there, too. Over time, our understanding of those values and our needs changed. The health of San Francisco Bay, the Delta, our fisheries and the few wild places left in the Central Valley, for example, deserve public recognition, protection and water.

At the same time, the economics of our valley can’t be gutted and trashed by water use re-authorization.

The writer’s comments and concerns are valid, even if a little shortsighted. If our water-governing entities operated solely for profit, all the water would go to L.A. and Imperial County for $2,000 to $3,000 per acre-foot. The water used by farmers and duck hunters is paid for by the public.

TIMOTHY S. POOLE

Newman

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