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Eric Garner has thoroughly updated “California Water,” Garner and Arthur Littleworth’s well-loved guide to historical, legal and policy issues affecting water use in California. The third edition of this concise and accessible water law text covers new and emerging topics, including the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, climate change and conservation. It features new maps that tell the story of California’s major water supply systems with compelling visuals. Recognizing the critical developments and challenges facing the State, the book also includes enhanced discussion on water quality.

Garner and Littleworth, two of California’s most respected and influential water law practitioners, discuss with clarity and authority the current status of California water law, including key developments from the last decade. The first chapters provide the broad context and history of California’s water law and infrastructure landscape. The subsequent chapters dig deeper into the intricacies of surface water rights, groundwater rights, water transfers and reallocations, water quality, local water conservation and planning, and the Colorado River.

“California Water” traces the evolution of California’s water law through the State’s changing priorities, from agricultural to urban to environmental to conservation. Woven throughout the chapters are tough questions about consumptive use and how to protect the supply through longer periods of low precipitation. As Garner acknowledges in his preface, the current era of water law and policy may be the most challenging we’ve faced. And yet, technological innovation has the potential to significantly increase efficiency of existing uses. Developments in recycling, storm water capture and storage create opportunities that are only limited by imagination — and the resources necessary to implement them.

Who Should Read California Water

  • Water district, city and county officials
  • Engineers
  • Planners
  • Lawyers and judges
  • Community leaders
  • Environmentalists
  • Developers
  • Farmers

What Water Industry Leaders are Saying About “California Water”

“This is the most useful reference book ever written on California water, covering the physical water system, the policies governing its management, and the laws and regulations that govern its use. This updated version contains insight into recent developments in California water policy and law, including the management response to the latest drought of 2012-2016, implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and new conservation laws, the latest developments in California’s ongoing drama in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, climate change, and others. This book should be on the shelf of everyone engaged in California water, whether you are relatively new to this fascinating field or have decades of experience in trying to better manage the state’s most valuable resource.”
~Timothy Quinn
Landreth Visiting Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University
Executive Director, Association of California Water Agencies, Retired, 2007-2018
“Littleworth and Garner have achieved the impossible. They have untied California’s Gordian knot of water rights, laws, and policies and made them understandable for all. With California’s water management teetering on the edge of crisis, this timely book is critical for everyone working on and learning about the state’s challenges in an age of growing population, unsustainable water demand, and increasing climate change impacts.”
~Mark Gold
Associate Vice Chancellor of Environment and Sustainability, UCLA
“‘California Water’ remains the definitive ‘go-to’ book for analysis of California’s complex water law and policy. The 2019 update covers recent events, climate change issues and other current developments. Must reading for practitioners, it also is a handy reference to any policy manager that even touches on water-related issues.”
~Jeffrey Kightlinger
General Manager, The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
“I have worked with the authors of ‘California Water’ on numerous cases which allocate and simultaneously preserve overdrafted water resources. They have brought to those cases ample scholarship mixed with creativity and common sense management solutions. Similarly, ‘California Water’ provides a scholarly but clear, practical path through the arcane field of California water law.”
~James L. Markman
Shareholder, Richards, Watson & Gershon
“‘California Water’ is a great and understandable one-stop location for background on California’s complex water rights system. It has good explanations ranging from 1800s water rights to the effects of current environmental requirements.”
~Terry L. Erlewine
Principal Engineer, Provost & Pritchard Consulting
General Manager, State Water Contractors, 1994-2017

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