California has always had water conflicts, and as a semiarid state it always will. It is easy in these troubled times to assert that California is doomed, for this and other reasons, and that nothing can be done about it. But California has thrived more than almost any other part of the world despite scarce water supplies, and there is little reason why prosperity cannot continue, despite new challenges, with suitable adaptations in policy and management. California is now at a crossroads for water management, with crises looming on numerous fronts.
This book explores solutions for the modern era, when water management must become more balanced and flexible to support both economic prosperity and environmental sustainability. It starts by reviewing the history of how California has adapted to changes and conflicts in water management in the past - slowly, controversially, and imperfectly - but with remarkable success. It then lays out a variety of promising principles and directions for improving water management in California for contemporary and anticipated future conditions.