We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
In dry climate areas, which much of California is, precious water must be provided from distant sources. As far as I know, in most of the US water is provided either from private wells of from for-profit water utilities or ordinary water companies. Water is market-priced or you pump your own.
California does not have market-pricing for water, yet they historically have had less of it than most parts of the US and, as agriculture boomed there just like the population, there was no market-induced water planning. The government (!) organized water. How does that work out?
The Poetry of Violence
What happened to the sustainability concept in Calif ? To living within the environmental limits? Use Google Earth to fly over Southern Calif. and see the use (waste) that they make of water -- pools, lawns, non-native landscaping, golfing, recreation, -- they have a resource misallocation problem.
I believe like other things, virtue is for thee not me.
FWIW, did a little poking around ca.gov sites and gathered private water rights don't exist as all surface and ground water belongs to the people of California. So, the only market based solution would be say a surcharge or tax (pick your choice) for excessive usage. Cue upper income lawn waterers ranting about regressive taxation on the poor, etc.
I've lived in California since 1962 and I have no clue about how water is priced. No one really cares in years of normal rainfall. Paleoclimatologsts have reported, based on tree rings, during the past two thousand years California has had many periods of drought, one lasting 230 years and another lasting 200 years. We're in year four of this drought. Most of the state is arid or semi-arid. It should be interesting.
Since all water in CA is owned by ,and ultimately produced by, the State, is should be priced at the cost to produce it and nothing more. Using penalty pricing and taxation to increase the cost for social engineering coming from the right or the left is still, and always will be, a bad idea.