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Managing California’s Water: From Conflict to Reconciliation


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.

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

Interactive Map: California’s Water Quality Problems

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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