College - Author 1

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Department - Author 1

Agribusiness Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Agricultural Business



Primary Advisor

Marcia Tilley, College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences, Agribusiness Department


This study was conducted to determine if reductions in water deliveries to farmers in the San Joaquin Valley due to enforcement of the Endangered Species Act has resulted in a compensable Fifth Amendment taking of property. A case study of the California Water Crisis is examined. The subject of this case study is the Westlands Water District.

The details of the California Water Crisis were outlined. The necessary elements of a takings investigation were identified for the case study. These elements were applied to takings criteria that has been established by the courts. Using prior court rulings as a guide to apply the criteria, it was determined that a taking of property has not occurred.

Alternatives to compensation for a taking of property that would provide relief to farmers affected by the California Water Crisis are discussed. Ensuring long-term reliability of the state’s water supply requires Endangered Species Act reform and improvements to water storage and conveyance infrastructure.