Let’s Get Physical—Water Rights, Takings, and the Endangered Species Act

February 2017

California Water Law & Policy Reporter, Volume 27, Number 5

The turbulence of climate change has added a great deal of uncertainty to water rights throughout the arid West. Notwithstanding the recent flurry of winter storms, California is still held captive by one of the longest and driest droughts to occur since it became a state in 1850. The Pacific Institute’s California Drought Monitor reports that while record precipitation may have eased drought conditions in some areas, 28 percent of the state is still classified as “extreme-to-exceptional.” Many of the state’s groundwater aquifers remain in overdraft. For the moment, Governor Brown’s 2014 declaration of a drought state of emergency is still in effect.

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