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OPINION: A Way Out Of California’s Water Crisis

California’s chronic water problems were once again national news when Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation establishing a code of water-use restrictions that would be more fitting for an undeveloped nation. As usual, policymakers chose the austerity of coercive public policy over the voluntary, cooperative agreements that markets use to efficiently and fairly allocate goods and services. Aside from a few small enterprises, there are no comprehensive water markets in the state. More than 90 percent of the water that flows through California is under the control of a centralized government entity.