Federal court rejects California water ‘takings’ case

A federal court yesterday rejected a case from a California city and irrigation districts that claimed the Bureau of Reclamation violated their constitutional property rights when it did not deliver water during a drought. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims case touches on the broad questions of whether the water in a delivery contract is property and whether a contract holder must be compensated if Reclamation doesn’t deliver it. Judge Elaine Kaplan ruled they do not.