California Gov. Jerry Brown will attempt to divert water from Southen California, which has invested in storage capacity in recent years, to Northern California, which has not. In what local media are already calling a “water war,” the friendly rivalry between the two regions of the state could become a very serious contest for resources.
As the Wall Street Journal noted recently: “Districts in the south report they can weather the drought through 2015 without rationing water since they’ve invested in underground storage, desalination, wastewater reclamation and water metering. Yet the normally flush north, which likes to blame Southern Californians for wasting the state’s most precious resource, has been slow to adopt such technologies and is now feeling the pinch.”
Gov. Brown’s intervention will likely not be welcomed by residents of southern areas that have sacrificed other spending priorities to ensure that there would be a safe and reliable supply of water in dry years.
So the governor appears to be using the language of the left–common parlance in both parts of the state–and describing Southern California as more “privileged” than Northern California, rather than better-managed:
[T]here are some parts of California that are more privileged from the point of view of water availability than others. So we have systems. We can transfer it. But there are a lot of water rights, a lot of rules, so we’ve got to cut through that and make sure that those who need it most get the water to the extent we have it available.