I liked this part in particular:
Transferring power to local agencies may simply represent a higher body’s abdication of responsibility, rather than a strategic allocation of powers. In this case, the California legislature did not have the mettle to create a robust groundwater management scheme. Kicking the can into the local agencies’ driveway was a more attractive option for legislators than dealing with the problem head-on.
This is the second time we’ve needed people who are employed by universities, not water agencies to tell us this. There is certainly no will to acknowledge this from within the state bureaucracies. Local agencies are not magic: some are good, some are inept, some are overwhelmed. We will find out which ones are which, but we’ll have lost years to the process.