Monday, November 19, 2012

Chinatown And Water Law On Generation Anthropocene

No.. no.. Jack Nicholson didn't show up on Gen. Anthropocene to revisit his great role in the movie Chinatown. In that movie, detective J.J.Gittes played by Nicholson uncovers a shady plan set in the early 1900's  to monopolize the water resources of Owen's Valley and to divert that water to the growing city of Los Angeles.

Buzz Thompson who is an expert in environmental and natural resources law and policy has a personal connection with California's dodgy water history as he recounts how his grandfather's farm was bought over by the city of Los Angeles in the early 1920's using a local farmer as a front and then letting the farm lay fallow as it diverted water for urban use. 

He also gives a tutorial on the different water use doctrines prevalent in the U.S as he explains the differences between the riparian water use doctrine of the eastern part of the U.S. versus the prior appropriation water use doctrine common in the west and also talks about how enforcement of water law has generally failed in the U.S. Another important topic covered is the economics of water use especially in the context of water recycling.

 Excellent conversation from Gen Anthropocene.


  1. Hey Suvrat -- thanks for the shout-out, glad you're listening in :) The Buzz Thompson interview was one of my favorite episodes to produce! Great guy, interesting stories, and super knowledgeable.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    - Leslie from the Gen Anthro Team

  2. thankx Leslie for producing such excellent and educational interviews ! Happy Thanksgiving to you..