As Senator Feinstein pointed out, California has the same major water infrastructure today as it did in the 1960s, when the state was home to approximately 16 million people instead of 40 million people — farmers, swimming-pool owners, golfers, lawn-waterers, guacamole-eaters, and other thirsty types. The State Water Project, California’s major water infrastructure, was launched in the 1950s and mostly finished up by the 1970s. Individual water districts have added some capacity over the years, but the major conveyance-and-storage system remains largely unchanged
California’s government, like the federal government and most other state and local governments, spends its money on salaries, benefits, pensions, and other forms of employee compensation. The numbers are contentious — for obvious political reasons — but it is estimated that something between half and 80 percent of California’s state and local spending ultimately goes to employee compensation. (Interesting analysis here.) That is where the money goes.