Bills in the state Legislature would give increased authority to the California State Water Resources Control Board and could impact historic water rights and threaten water supplies for farming. Dangerous water rights reform bills that put the interests of the few over the interests of the many are moving through the California Legislature.
When Don Cameron first intentionally flooded his central California farm in 2011, pumping excess stormwater onto his fields, fellow growers told him he was crazy.
Today, California water experts see Cameron as a pioneer. His experiment to control flooding and replenish the ground water has become a model that policy makers say others should emulate.
People don’t eat much alfalfa, at least not directly. But the crop widely grown throughout California and the West to feed cows across the world has become central to discussions about managing a future with limited water. That’s part of the larger debate over what’s being grown and where it goes, and even what people should eat to ease pressure on the water supply and fight climate change.