LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Excessive water use

Dear Editor: 
Recently in the Downey Patriot we learned a large restaurant project is underway in the old Ford location in north Downey. Another giant building project is now under construction in south Downey. 

Near my home, several large two-story homes are under construction. A large, newly-constructed apartment complex in downtown Downey is now finished and renting. The list goes on and on this frantically-paced construction of new buildings. 

We are currently in the biggest drought condition we've seen in hundreds of years with no possibility of rain yet all this furious-paced construction is either finished or under current construction. Water is necessary for construction and it is absolutely necessary for our lives. Without it we die. 

All of this construction, of course, has its many advantages to the economy but in drought conditions it is nothing short of madness. One large soft drink company in our city is said to use 1 million gallons of water in the production of its product, and don't forget what we use daily. 

On early morning walks it never ceases to amaze me at the large number of beautiful lawns in town. Frequently sprinkler systems keep the water flowing with large amounts of it flowing into the gutter and hence into the ocean. Slowly, much too slowly, more brown lawns are appearing, indicating some people are reducing their water consumption. 

Several months ago, this writer in a letter to the Downey Patriot quoted this statement by John Wesley Powell in 1889. It is as true today as when he made it: "When all the rivers are used, when all the creeks in the ravines, when all the brooks, when all the springs are used, when all the reservoirs along the streams are used, when all the canyon waters are taken, when all the artesian waters are taken up, when all the wells are sunk or dug that can be dug in all this arid region, there is still not sufficient water to irrigate all this arid region."
Byron Dillon