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Managing California’s Water: From Conflict to Reconciliation
Ellen Hanak, Jay Lund, Ariel Dinar, Brian Gray, Richard Howitt, Jeffrey Mount, Peter Moyle, and Barton "Buzz” Thompson

February 2011

California has struggled to manage its water effectively for more than 30 years. Today, the state needs to consider a set of wide-ranging reforms—for the benefit of the economy and the environment.

Executive Summary

Full Report [PDF, 9.06 MB]

To view individual chapters, click on the links below.


Floods, Droughts, and Lawsuits: A Brief History of California Water Policy

California Water Today

Drivers of Change

Urgent and Fundamental Challenges

Reconciling Ecosystems: Reversing Declines in Native Species

Orchestrating the Management of Water Scarcity, Quality, and Flooding

Managing Water as a Public Commodity

Effective and Adaptive Governance

Pathways to Reform

A Way Forward

Technical Appendix: Managing California’s Water: Insights from Interviews with Water Policy Experts

This research was supported with funding from S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Pisces Foundation, Resources Legacy Fund, and Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority.

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Interactive Map on Water Quality
Map on Precipitation Runoff