"Brown has staked much on a $24-billion plan to resolve California's decades-long fight over moving water from the north, where most of the state's rain and snow falls, to thirsty cities and farms in the south and the Central Valley," writes Evan Halper. "Winning would break a stalemate that has bedeviled the state for more than a generation and reverse one of the biggest defeats Brown suffered decades ago during his previous stint as governor."
"But his project cannot move forward without the federal government's blessing. And in the trenches of the federal bureaucracy, his adversaries have proved tenacious and powerful."
"Brown has looked to Southern California Democrats as a counterweight," adds Halper. "Their millions of constituents could see dry taps should the state's current water system fail. But most legislators from the south have little experience with water policy, and they don't hear much from voters on the issue."