A federal court ruling has made it appear that water used by an irrigation district belongs exclusively to the district. The ruling, if it stands, means that states and the federal government have to pay compensation for diverting water elsewhere even if they are doing so for fisheries management or drought relief. In California, it would strip away the doctrine that the state owns the waters and manages them for the good of all the people. The ruling would make it hugely expensive to divert water for any purpose however worthy.
The property rights people are behind this one. But, is it really their property?
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