"[Calfornia Lawmakers] have been chewing over water legislation for weeks, unable to seal a final deal despite threats from the governor, weekend negotiating sessions and their own deep desire to disprove the widespread perception that they can't get anything done.
Many of the choking points involve often arcane details of water policy and regional self-interests that haven't always followed the usual partisan lines.
'It's fear of losing water, fear of having to pay for stuff,' said Ellen Hanak of the Public Policy Institute. 'It's the same old interests,' she added, that have for decades impeded any kind of overhaul of California's complicated and increasingly troubled water system.
The Democrats' proposal is broad-ranging, but far from revolutionary. It takes what many water experts have characterized as modest steps in regard to groundwater, urban water conservation and state enforcement of water rights."