Water, water everywhere, but not a drop is yours.
California’s drought induced by nature and amplified by government has migrated from reasonable discussion to political expedience. This ongoing problem in our state has drawn much interest from RR readers, especially those living in the Sierra foothills where water is still abundant.
Sacramento and the feds have taken the side of dubious environmental arguments such as the health and happiness of certain fish species, and against the farmers and residents, especially those living in the wetter parts of the state. After all, the votes are concentrated in the dry parts which must be made the last to feel any shortfall in the wet stuff.
The legal arguments fall into the classical Right/Left pattern as far as regulation and rationing are concerned. And it all starts with ‘who owns the water?’ The Left applies its classical mantra that all possible resources belong to the people (i.e. the state), and the Right says ownership of water is a complex matter that should be sorted out on an ad hoc basis that tilts heavily toward the maintenance of property rights. The specifics break down to how/whether flowing surface water should be treated differently from ground (or well) water.