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California’s Area of Origin Laws

Craig M. Wilson | April 8th, 2013


California’s Area of Origin Laws have long been in the background of the State’s major water issues. They were enacted 50-80 years ago, are written very generally, and have not been subject to a lot of interpretation by the courts. However, they remain a potential linchpin to resolving many of California’s most vexing water disputes. For that reason alone, the Area of Origin Laws are worthy of attention. It is the purpose of this report to: provide a brief description of the Area of Origin Laws, to discuss recent court cases that have discussed them, and to summarize the major principles embodied in the laws.

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water rights

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Hydrological Region