Investors Business Daily. "Water is a commodity just like any other, and its allocation should not be left to governments." The one complication is the rule of capture with respect to ground water, and the common-property problem that follows. Even so, prices communicate incentives: is it worth digging deeper, and can the water be more profitably sold to someone else rather than used by the well digger?
It all seems so straightforward, and yet policy makers and Allegedly Smart People introduce unnecessary complexities, to the discomfiture of Californians. And, for that matter, Wisconsin cheesemakers: how much do Californian water subsidies undermine America's Dairyland's comparative advantage?