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Public Water, Private Land: Origins of the Acreage Limitation Controversy, 1933-1953

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Koppes, Clayton R.
Conference: Annual Meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association
Location: San Francisco, CA
Conf. Date: August 19
Date: 1978
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8018
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: North America
Subject(s): water resources
land tenure and use
common pool resources
Abstract: "In 1976 the Ninth Circuit Court Appeals in San Francisco sent a series of shock waves along clearly defined fault lines of California agriculture. The court ruled that the federal reclamation laws dating to 1902 mean what they say: Heavily subsidized irrigation water can be distributed only to 160 acres per individual landowner, and anyone holding more than a quarter section must dispose of the excess land in order to receive reclamation water. The ruling occasioned surprise and consternation in some quarters, for it seemed to presage major alterations in the land-tenure pattern of the Central Valley of California, and potentially on reclamation projects throughout the West."

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