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Voice: Feinstein's ultimatum reveals lack of vision

May 25, 2002

Dear Sen. Feinstein:

Threatening the Imperial Valley, the Imperial Irrigation District and the citizens of our desert areas with a takeover of the Colorado River rights may seem a small thing to you in California's northern climes; especially to those who rarely visit our area — and politically you may not think our Imperial Valley's 50,000 or so votes mean much in the "grand scheme of things," that we are politically expendable, and you may believe, as it would appear, that the million votes in greater San Diego are more important than we; however, if you think your selling out to the San Diego/L.A. votes versus grabbing the water from the Imperial Valley will go unnoticed at the polls come next election — hold hands with Gov. Davis.

Sure, you might win over votes in the greater San Diego area, but honestly, California doesn't need another "Owens Valley." If San Diego and those on the west side of the mountains from our desert area don't want a large percent of our state's vegetables and animal fodder to disappear, then they and you should rethink strategies.

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Just come down here and look at the growing size of the dunes west of El Centro and toward Yuma, too. Even without further fallowing, we are already drying up! What is the engine in our area that keep a labor force and moneys flowing through our pockets … not much that's not connected to water. For the Imperial Valley to agreeably give up surplus water to the coast's golf courses and green grass is one thing, but dictating terms unconditionally is another proposition altogether.

It's hard to believe that an ocean of water lies alongside our coast and not one effort is being made to convert it to potable uses. It kind of remins me of the "apologists to the mid-east" who are afraid to tell them to "eat their oil."

ROBERT HAROLD

El Centro

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