JS and RM both sent me this article, about Modesto Irrigation District's decision to give its irrigators free water. Their intention is that the farmers will over-irrigate and thus recharge the local aquifer.
Given MID's water rights and the desire to store water for later, this makes sense.
But MID is worried that "parched" farmers -- and people who still think there's a drought -- will not be happy with this news.
Mike Wade (California Farm Water Coalition) "said water shortages in other areas should be fixed by increased storage and delta improvements, not by tapping the MID supply."
Wade is wrong.
Shortages result when demand exceeds supply. It would be cheaper to reduce demand (raise prices!) or allow trading of water. MID could make money, and farmers elsewhere could get more water, without having to wait for (expensive, OPM) dams or hope that a judge will allow them to take more water from the Delta.