Efficient Water Use in California

The Evolution of Groundwater Management in Southern California

by Albert J. Lipson

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Examines the evolution of groundwater management in Southern California and discusses how to improve the efficiency of water use. Reviews problems that prompted groundwater management, factors considered by water users in developing diverse management solutions, and institutional arrangements established in each basin. The report specifically discusses growth of management by court adjudication or water district in the following groundwater basins: Raymond, West Coast, Central, Upper Los Angeles River Area, Orange County, Main San Gabriel, Tehachapi, and Chino. Key factors influencing institutional development explored are: (1) a water deficiency; (2) availability of imported water; (3) ways to cut back use and distribute costs; (4) hydrology; (5) uncertain physical facts; (6) local leadership; (7) legal issues; (8) activities of overlying water agencies, and (9) absence of state policy. From the experience of these areas, the report draws policy implications for the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys, and makes policy suggestions for legislative consideration.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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