September 12, 2014

Water, water everywhere – in California courts

By Anthony L. Francois Senior Attorney

California is suffering an historic drought: there is not enough water to go around.  The state’s courthouses may be the only places that have had their fill of water of this year, or at least had their fill of fights about it.  Last week PLF asked the state Supreme Court to review whether the public trust doctrine applies to groundwater, and this week we filed this amicus letter in Light v. SWRCB, asking the Court to review whether the State Water Resources Control Board can limit the use of water rights without giving the water right owner a due process hearing.

As California’s drought continues (and perhaps worsens), it is becoming more critical that the California Supreme Court define and appropriately limit the regulatory power of the State Water Resources Control Board over existing surface and groundwater rights, to ensure that private property is not expropriated without compensation when the Board balances the needs of the state’s people and their environment.

 

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