A Fifth of water

In response to my blog about reevaluating the whole concept of senior water rights, Dean Andal sends the Fifth Amendment!

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation (emphasis his).”

 ”Water rights are extremely valuable private property,” Andall writes. “Want to buy them?”

I’m in over my head here. I will say only that property law provides strong protections but not absolute ones. Presumably there are corollaries to, say, eminent domain in water law. I’m not advocating for such solutions; the L.A. Times story, which raised the question of whether the seniority system makes sense, merely whetted my appetite to know more about fundamental California water principles. And whether they should be — or can be — adapted to 21st century California.

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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