When settlers first came to California they were allowed to claim rights to the water they used to irrigate their land. Even though the state’s population has exploded those original rights remain in place today. Some people have argued that it’s time to overhaul the system. And Governor Jerry Brown says some changes are on the way.
"I think we’ll have some changes, but don’t wait around for anything too fundamental," he says. "People love transformative. So I’ll say we’re going to be doing transformative things, but they’re probably less transformative than you might think."
The state water board has already curtailed some water rights and warns that it may expand curtailments in the future.