National Public Radio ran a story this morning titled “Drought, Politics Trouble Farmers In California“. The water situation in the San Francisco Bay Delta and Central Valley is complicated enough for many a report, but what had Mono Lake veterans talking was the interview quote from Tom Birmingham, current Executive Director of the Westlands Water District and previously the lead attorney fighting against Mono Lake’s protection.
Now we get along fine with Tom but we have to assume he was talking about us when he said “I have heard people say that the City of Los Angeles should never have been developed on the imported water supply from the eastern Sierra.”
Which, of course, is not something we ever said. The point of the Mono Lake water struggle was to find a way to give Mono Lake the water it needs–and deserves–and at the same time to meet Los Angeles’ legitimate water needs.
Water consevation and recycling were and are the answers, and Los Angeles is building its water future on these programs today. That’s a lesson applicable to currrent water fights as well: smart solutions can solve difficult problems. And that can turn win-lose situations into win-win resolutions.