In summary

We must focus on increasing our water supply and adjusting to our new hydrology with projects for storage, habitat restoration and more.

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By Mark McKean, Special to CalMatters

Mark McKean, a board member of the California Farm Water Coalition, is a farmer from Riverdale.

Re “Byzantine water laws will leave Californians high and dry”; Commentary, Feb. 24, 2022

I disagree with the commentary suggesting that layering more bureaucracy on top of California’s already-complex water laws will fix our water problems.

Water laws are not the cause of California’s changing weather patterns, and legal wrangling will not alter what scientists tell us will be continuing boom-and-bust water cycles. Government entities already have significant power to alter water rights in emergency situations.

What we must focus on is how to increase our water supply and adjust to our new hydrology. Both federal and state legislation passed last year allocated resources for exactly the types of projects that can make a difference – storage for surface and groundwater, habitat restoration, repairs to existing conveyance and more. 

Now is the time to move ahead quickly and get these projects in place, not to get sidetracked by issues that will not add one drop of water to our supply and only cause legal issues and bureaucracy.       

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