Dan Walters suggests that bureaucrats may be better than politicians at allocating money for water infrastructure. Since the California Transportation Commission has done a pretty good job on roads, he asks, why not allow a similar Commission to decide where to put water projects?
On its face, this sounds like a good idea, but I think Dan misses a major point -- people drive cars on roads, but bureaucrats tell water where to go. If bureaucrats are bad at deciding where water should go (e.g., to one farmer rather than another), then the harm will be magnified as infrastructure is built to support those decisions.
I suggest that water be allowed to flow via market decisions (like cars and drivers). Only after water starts to move to optimal locations should money be allocated to infrastructure -- in exactly the places where bottlenecks (for conveyance or storage) appear.
Bottom Line: Bureaucrats don't know where water should go. Water users know. Let them decide -- and use markets to do so.