Connecting Alaska to the World And the World to Alaska
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

California's oldest water rights exist only on paper. A new project aims to change that

Brent Vanderburgh (left), section chief for the Division of Water Rights' data governance section, digitizes records alongside Stephen Severon (right), unit chief for the digitization unit. (Courtesy of Erik Ekdahl)
Brent Vanderburgh (left), section chief for the Division of Water Rights' data governance section, digitizes records alongside Stephen Severon (right), unit chief for the digitization unit. (Courtesy of Erik Ekdahl)

College students in California have begun scanning 2 million pages of water rights records on paper to make them more easily available in digital form to the public as part of a $60 million project.

The idea is to make it easier to determine who has the right to use water in the state, and from what stream and when, especially in times of drought.

Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd learns more with Erik Ekdahl, deputy director of the California State Water Board’s Division of Water Rights.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.