Building the World

Beyond a Drought: Scarcity and Rights


Drought: Scarcity and Rights. Image: wikimedia.

California is setting precedent. Facing drought of unprecedented severity, a group of farmers in the threatened Sacramento and San Joaquin River delta have offered to reduce their water usage by 25%, or leave 25% of their fields unplanted, in exchange for unrestricted rights to the rest of their allotment, even if water scarcity parches others in the future. What should Water Resources Control Board Director Tom Howard do? Might provisions in the Colorado River Compact, or earlier New River, provide inspiration? Decisions made in California may set precedent; will 2015 mark a change in the balance of rights, and scarcity, of water?

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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