Water conservation push by SFPUC lauded 

I’d like to commend the SFPUC for its exceptional efforts to promote water conservation in San Francisco. With free water audits, rebates for high-efficiency appliances and improved city ordinances, we’re seeing a steady drop in water use citywide.

Using water efficiently is the key to preparing ourselves for the uncertainty of climate change. The Sierra snowpack is projected to decrease by 12 to 50 percent by 2050, at the same time California’s as population is expected to grow from 38 to 60 million. Available water will be at a premium.

Water conservation also helps protect fish and wildlife. Before there were any dams on the Tuolumne River (the source of our Hetch Hetchy water), on average 130,000 salmon would spawn in the river annually. Last year that
number was 766.

Up to 60 percent of the Tuolumne is being diverted. This is unsustainable, and the SFPUC’s efforts to promote water conservation are a great example for all water agencies.

Peter Drekmeier, Tuolumne River Trust, San Francisco

Libya action is unwise

I am opposed to our military intervention in Libya for two reasons. First, there is no constitutional mandate for any U.S. president to pursue a foreign policy of Pax Americana. Without a congressional declaration of war, such police action lacks sovereign legal standing. Secondly, unalienable rights are claimed by the free. They are not something bestowed on another.

We have too long been the World Cop, sacrificing young American lives and reaping Kipling’s old reward — “the blame of those ye better/The hate of those ye guard.”

Paul Burton, San Francisco

City overtime a necessity

Let’s highlight some of the points that were misleading or de-emphasized in your April 4 cover story about city workers’ overtime. Overtime waivers are permissible upon approval and not a way for employees to beat the rules. And only three departments among the 50-plus agencies comprising our government accounted for this excess overtime.

While a handful of workers — 74 out of around 26,000 — are earning large sums, The City does save money overall because the overtime largely results from positions deliberately left vacant. Perhaps a wider distribution of the overtime would have been preferable, given the economic climate and turnover within the city workforce. The overtime itself would have been logged one way or another because it was necessary.

Ging Louie, San Francisco

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