The history of government water projects in the State of California has been one of increased taxes to finance dams, canals, and pipelines. The state government has supplied subsidized water to growers who in turn produce federally subsidized crops, especially rice and cotton. Government-run water rationing has channeled water to political favorites and burdened the public with arbitrary cutbacks. Government-aided insurance programs have subsidized those living or doing business in flood-prone areas, and created regional antagonism between beneficiaries and victims of water policy.
We advocate basing water rights on principles of appropriation and transferability.
We also advocate the transfer of all water works to private ownership. We oppose the tax financing and eminent domain land acquisitions for all projects and facilities in the state water plan, including the Peripheral Canal. We favor repeal of all government drought and flood emergency powers and all government ability to impose water rationing. We propose elimination of all government flood insurance programs. We favor an end to all government weather-modification programs, and we favor holding private weather-modifying firms liable for damages they may cause. We call for the elimination of the current doctrine of “use it or lose it” that automatically transfers unused privately-owned water to governments or other claimants. Under the current doctrine of prior appropriation, recreational use is not considered a beneficial use. We hold that owners of land adjacent to bodies of water should be able to establish riparian property rights through “first regular use” of the water for recreational purposes.