“Whisky’s for drinkin’ – water’s for fightin'”

So said Mark Twain, and his wisdom endures. Since the subject of water allocation in the West in general, and in California in particular, involves takings of water rights and thus may be of interest to our readers, we recommend an article on water problems in California, by Victor Davis Hanson,¬† Los Angeles Times, Aug. 7, 2011, entitled California’s Water Wars. Click here.

Hanson makes clear how past feats of engineering transformed California’s Central Valley (particularly the Western part of it) into the country’s breadbasket, and how recent regulations are undoing much of that good work for the sake of fish. You may agree or disagree with Hanson’s value judgments, but it is incontestable that application of these regulations that have removed much agricultural land from production, has resulted in a severe decline in agricultural productivity as well as in private incomes and public tax revenues. Is it worth it, particularly¬†these days when California is suffering a major recession and a calamitous decline in tax revenues? Judge for yourself.

A good read, that.