The drought in the western U.S. is creating a battle over resources, as private landowners compete with the public over access to freshwater supplies.
In April, California Governor Jerry Brown announced a series of mandatory restrictions, forcing residents to reduce their water usage by 25 percent in the coming year. But the state’s powerful agriculture industry has yet to face cuts on the same scale, despite its massive role in depleting local water supplies.
It’s not just California facing a future without water. More than 40 million people across seven U.S. states and Mexico depend on the Colorado River, where demand is now exceeding supply.
Fault Lines travels down the Colorado to find out who really controls water in the West—and what, if anything, is being done to protect it.