Why the West Hates Southern California

THE FIRST thing one learns when leaving Los Angeles and California to travel Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona is that the rest of the West hates Californians.

The reason can be summed up in one word: Water.

Legal division of Western water more or less started with the Gold Rush and the first come, first serve law pertaining to gold came to apply to water, no matter how crazy the allocations became as the West was settled.  

California was greedy early and has proved positively Roman in its ability to build aqueducts and storage reservoirs. Well endowed with water, it has proved unsurpassed at wasting it, even as the rest of the West shriveled in drought, and even as in the past decade the crisis has reached all three of Southern California’s water sources in the Sacramento Delta, Owens Valley and the Colorado River.

To sum up