Conserve water

Dear Editor:Summer has arrived so many of us are fine-tuning our lawn sprinklers. It's fascinating to watch large volumes of fresh, clean water tumbling merrily down the gutters, picking up discarded cigarettes and miscellaneous trash on its way to the Rio San Gabriel River channel and finally into the ocean. We had unusually large amounts of rain this winter, with much of it ending in the ocean. We think we have unlimited amounts of water - so why be concerned about depleting our supply - but we can no longer waste water. We live in a semi-arid region with little rain so we don't have the luxury of wasting it. Without imported water, Southern California would look like the surrounding dry barren brown hills in summer. Acres of lush, well-manicured lawns, beautiful shrubs and trees, which aren't natural for Southern California, demand heavy watering. As the flow of the Colorado River declines and its vast reservoirs continue to shrink (Lake Powell and Lake Mead are each down about 50%), two inevitable flaws of irrigation will steadily grow worse. The less water in the river, the more silt and salt will continue to comprise its uses. Since the early 21st century the American Southwest has been in a severe, prolonged drought so it is never too early to save water. Bathtub rings ten stories tall encircle the blue waters of Lake Powell: boat ramps and marinas lie stranded and useless. Our exploding population and thirsty crops consume every drop of the Colorado River. A good way to begin water conservation is to plant drought resistant native plants or xeriscaping. Using these types of plants lowers consumption of imported or ground water. Less time needed for upkeep since the gardening is simpler and is less effort to maintain. This type of landscaping can be seen just north of Downey City Hall. -- Byron Dillon, Downey

********** Published: May 5, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 3