Deep Flaws Found in California's Water Use Reporting
Jason Dearen and Garance Burke produced a scathing report for the Associated Press on the oversight of "senior rights holders" in California—4,000 companies, farmers, and others with exceptional access to the use of water in California, with little or no cost or oversight.
The article reports on the AP's own analysis of records by senior rights holders, which show that they hold the rights to over more than half the rivers and streams in California. The AP's analysis of the records finds the self-reported system to be wildly inaccurate and incomplete. In fact, the AP found errors in eight out of the state's top 25 water users.