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Resources 2018, 7(1), 7; doi:10.3390/resources7010007

California’s Groundwater Regime: The Cadiz Case

Anthropology Department, University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA
Received: 18 November 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 21 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Water Regimes)
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Abstract

Recent California legislation has promised solutions to longstanding problems in groundwater management through an emphasis on management of groundwater itself, rather than on the rights of overlying property owners. In this short communication, I argue that the promises of scientific management relies on property law and jurisdiction and therefore that scientific claims about the water itself are less important than private property claims in the case of a Cadiz Inc.’s proposed groundwater extraction project in Southeastern California. While private property in land insulates Cadiz Inc. (Los Angeles, CA, USA) from political contestation, opposition to the project has increasingly focused on the right to transport and transfer water through lands not held by Cadiz Inc. This legal strategy points to how California groundwater law is still fundamentally ruled by private property in land, which shifts the grounds of environmental politics from extraction itself to the transport of extracted materials. This case serves as a good example of the intersection of political ecology and legal geography. View Full-Text
Keywords: legal geography; groundwater; private property; political ecology; water rights; right-of-way; scale legal geography; groundwater; private property; political ecology; water rights; right-of-way; scale
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Sizek, J. California’s Groundwater Regime: The Cadiz Case. Resources 2018, 7, 7.

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