Former Brown Administration Resources Secretary Huey Johnson, president of the Resource Renewal Institute (RRI), has unveiled the first-ever public “California Water Rights Atlas.” This online tool will enable citizens, policymakers, media and others to view thousands of current California water rights claims.
Here’s a link to the atlas. Right up front, you learn that California gets an average of 71 million acre feet of usable water from annual precipitation. But currently, water rights holders claim they divert, in aggregate, approximately 250 million acre feet of water each year.
“For the past century, powerful special interests claimed ownership of both real and imaginary water through political contributions,” said Johnson. “Other states outgrew this corrupt practice long ago, but not California. The California Water Rights Atlas may be the sunlight that finally breaks the fog bank of chaos and mismanagement that cripples the state’s water system.”