Browse Results For:
Dry years unveil sources of real power in California’s water system. Drought, Water Law, and the Origins of California's Central Valley Project is an account of how water rights are designed directly into the state’s largest public water system, the Central Valley Project. Along 60 miles of the San Joaquin River from Gustine to Mendota, four corporate entities called “exchange contractors” retain paramount water rights to the river. Their rights descend from the Miller & Lux cattle corporation, which amassed an empire of land and water from the 1850s through the 1920s and protected these assets through business deals and prolific litigation. Miller & Lux's dominance of the river relied on what many in the San Joaquin Valley regarded as wasteful irrigation practices and unreasonable water usage.