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Vineyards should cut water use too

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Editor, Index-Tribune:

I applaud and agree with David Bolling’s editorial, “More fire under our butts,” on Friday, July 18.

I really hope the state’s Water Resources Control Board does something more worthwhile in the very near future about curbing water usage in this state than the currentpathetically minimal limitations they are proposing.

Here’s what perplexes me. Why is no one talking about the amount of water that the vineyards use? Also, why hasn’t there been a moratorium on expanding existing vineyards or putting in new ones?

It seems insane to me, when the forecast for next winter is continued drought, no snow, etc. I understand that the wine industry is the economic foundation of Sonoma and Napa counties, but this is the most serious drought in recorded state history, and food and water are necessary to sustain life. And, although some may disagree, wine is not.

I’d rather see food farms as a top priority when it comes to water allocation. I’m not against vineyards or a good glass of wine, but we need some controls on the number and size of vineyards right now, and perhaps we should require the existing ones to all employ dry farming as a way of saving water.

There are some farmers who are already utilizing this method and perhaps some vineyards, too. I’d like to see a discussion about water conservation that includes vineyards. We all need to conserve water in ways that are truly meaningful, and the time is now.

Janis Scott

Sonoma