Lessons Learned 25 Years After Landmark California Water Reform Law

California’s most important federal water reform law – the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) – celebrated its 25th anniversary on October 30. The landmark law, signed by President George H.W. Bush, was a historic effort to protect and restore California’s wetlands, rivers, migratory waterbirds, salmon and other fish species, and also to promote more sustainable water supplies for a drought-prone state. Before the CVPIA’s passage in 1992, Central Valley rivers, wetlands and salmon runs had been severely damaged by the construction and operation of the federal Central Valley Project (CVP), a water system including 20 dams and 500 miles of canals.