Letters: Let’s have rational debate on California water

The Mercury News

Adrian Covert (Opinion, Feb. 9) relies on sensationalist claims to avoid a rational and science-based discussion of California’s water needs. Covert claims that the state Water Board will impose 50 percent cuts “at the first sign of any future drought.” Wrong. The proposed flow restrictions might require additional conservation, but not at the first sign of drought.

Rather, as you might expect, conservation will only increase as droughts worsen. Furthermore, Covert based his “50 percent” figure on outdated usage data.

In fact, we likely would never have to ration more than 20 percent, even at the height of the worst drought imaginable, and we achieved 30 percent last year without negative economic consequences.

California’s waterways provide vital services, and Californians undeniably hold environmental values in high esteem. Bay Area residents want to do their part. Please abandon scare tactics so that we can have a reasoned discussion of this vitally important issue.