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Sierra Nevada Research Institute

California Overspends Water Rights by 300 Million Acre Feet

California is deficit-spending its water and has been for a century, according to state data analyzed recently by researchers from the University of California.

UC Merced Professor Joshua Viers and postdoctoral researcher Ted Grantham, with UC Davis at the time, explored the state’s database of water-rights allocations, and found that allocations in California exceed the state's actual water supply by five times the average annual runoff and 100 times the actual surface-water supply for some river basins.


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