California doesn’t have enough water to meet all demands even in wet years, and when drought strikes the competition becomes, to put it mildly, intense. State and federal officials who must ration the restricted supply are beset with pleas from farmers, municipal water systems and advocates for the environment. However, water managers must also contend with a bewildering array of water rights, some of which date to the 19th century, as well as long-standing contractual obligations and laws, both statutes and judicial decrees, on maintaining flows for spawning salmon and other wildlife.
-Written by Dan Walters, CalMatters columnist.
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