The stalemate over water reform in California these days swirls around a single word that for decades has ignited conflict among ideological opposites: dams.
Conservatives, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, insist on building new dams, believing that pooling water in a canyon will end California's thirst. Liberals first want legal assurances that California will make better use of the water it has, a plea for more regulation that seems pointless to the thirsty.
The age-old conflict remains a key barrier to a water reform package now being tossed around the state Legislature. Water experts believe there's a solution somewhere in the middle: more water storage and tighter control of that stored water.
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