California's economy, society, and institutions have evolved with the politics of water. Similarly, many of the most challenging aspects of climate adaptation will arise from impacts on allocation of the state's water supplies. The ongoing failure to reconcile competing water interests in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta is but one ominous precedent in this regard. This chapter discusseshow climate change might affect California's water supplies;it also discussesthe role of public-sector leadership in determining whether less expensive, less capital-intensive adaptation solutions (e.g., water trading) can be deployed before more expensive, more capital-intensive ones (e.g., desalination) become inevitable.
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