AP: Historic Water Claims Mean Special Status, Despite Drought

A new Associated Press investigation finds that in drought-ridden California, thousands of companies, farms and municipalities are able to use free water — with very little oversight.

These entities have a special status, dating back to historic water claims made after the Gold Rush, and before the government regulated water usage more closely.

The antiquated system accounts for a large portion of the water used in California, and may make it harder for the state to move water where it is most needed.

Garance Burke co-authored the AP stories and discusses the issue with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.


Copyright 2014 WBUR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wbur.org.