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Water reduction must include vineyards

Letter-to-the-Editor-698x408

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Editor, Index-Tribune:

I applaud and agree with David Bolling’s editorial of Friday, July 18, (“More fire under our butts”). 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 current pathetically minimal limitations they are proposing.

Here’s what perplexes me: Why is no one talking about the amount of water that 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 in 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 – though 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 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

  • Phineas Worthington

    I think it is a big mistake to subordinate the decision making process of water allocation to the political process. I think more local control of water resources coupled with market based approaches with prices reflecting its scarcity equally applied to all consumers are preferable alternatives.