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Justin Fox

Greedy Environment Steals California's Water

Blame the rivers the state decided not to dam.
Look at how much water the environment wastes!

Look at how much water the environment wastes!

Photographer: Blaine Harden/The Washington Post/Getty Image

There’s this thing called “the environment,” and it’s using up as much as half of California’s scarce water. Pretty greedy, huh?

This is one way to interpret the California Department of Water Resources’ data on how water is used in the state. Here’s the breakdown on average water use from 2001 through 2010: