This commentary was first published by the Sacramento Bee on July 6, 2014. Drought Watch is a continuing series on the PPIC Blog.
As the effects of the drought worsen, two persistent water myths are complicating the search for solutions. One is that environmental regulation is causing California’s water scarcity. The other is that conservation alone can bring us into balance. Each myth has different advocates. But both hinder the development of effective policies to manage one of the state’s most important natural resources.
Let’s consider the first myth, that water shortages for farms are the result of too much water being left in streams for fish and wildlife.