A new Associated Press investigation finds that in drought-ridden California, thousands of companies, farms and municipalities are able to use free water — with very little oversight.
These entities have a special status, dating back to historic water claims made after the Gold Rush, and before the government regulated water usage more closely.
The antiquated system accounts for a large portion of the water used in California, and may make it harder for the state to move water where it is most needed.
Garance Burke co-authored the AP stories and discusses the issue with Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson.
This segment aired on May 27, 2014.