The Reclamation Act of 1902 delegated to the states the power to control the use of water developed by federal reclamation projects. In the years following the Act's enactment, however, a series of Supreme Court decisions gradually eroded this state power and culminated in the holding that the federal government has the exclusive right to control water developed by the projects. In the recent case of Caifornia v. United States, the Supreme Court restored a sense of federalism to western water law by reversing its prior decisions and recognizing once again the states' right to control the use of federally-developed water. In this Article, the author traces the historical background of this landmark water law case and analyzes and suggests answers to the new problems of federalism generated by the decision.
Reborn Federalism in Western Water Law: The New Melones Dam Decision,
30 Hastings L.J. 1645
Available at: https://repository.uchastings.edu/hastings_law_journal/vol30/iss6/1