BLOG: About That 40 Percent Number

It seems simple enough: The State Water Resources Control Board, arbiter of equitable water use in California, wants to leave 40 percent of the water in three streams feeding the San Joaquin River south of Stockton. To the surprise of no one who follows this stuff, it’s more complicated than it sounds. Let’s ignore, for the moment, that the board has actually proposed a range of river flows from 30 percent to 50 percent, starting at 40 percent. I can only handle so much complexity, so we’ll just examine that 40 percent number.