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Water now flowing in California, but where's it going?

Water wars.

What might seem a bit strange and even stark fiction in many American states is compelling real throughout much of California, namely, an all-consuming obsession with rain, where it falls and where it ends up.

A recent Sacramento Bee article pretty well sums up the angst and unrelenting stress that a lack of water engenders in many state residents, especially those who live in the midst of drought-ravaged areas. In doing so, the paper refers to "the sharp divide that has come to define California's water battles."

The contestants are largely in two distinct camps, both which contend that they have been unfairly singled out -- that is, especially victimized -- by federal legislation that has a direct effect on where California's falling rain ultimately ends up.

On the one side is what the Bee terms the state's "major agricultural interests" in the Central Valley, as well as residents in major urban areas further south. And on the other side are fishery principals and myriad advocates for the unquestionably dwindling populations of fish like smelt and Chinook salmon, which have been decimated in recent years by receding water levels.

Now the rain is falling, and everyone is thankful for that.

Not everyone is pleased about where many millions of gallons are ending up, though, which is in the Pacific Ocean. A number of impassioned voices have coalesced to argue for the transfer of far more water to parched farmlands and city reservoirs. An equal number of voices are contending, though, that federal environmental law controls where the water is going, with much of that liquid gold enabling endangered fish stock to get to the ocean.

The debate promises to continue, and with no dearth of impassioned pleas on both sides.

And while it does, every participant fervently hopes for the rain to continue falling.

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