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- June 1, 2015: Vol. 27, Number 6

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High and dry: The impact of California’s remarkable water policy on institutional real estate, part one

by Randall Zisler and Matthew Zisler

Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
— Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.
— Benjamin Franklin

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.
— W. H. Auden

Like Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ancient mariner, California finds its ship listless in the doldrums of a misguided and moribund political process, bordered by vast saltwater and lacking a tailwind. While the drought is a given, misguided public policy regarding the rationing and pricing of water is the headwind.

Milton Friedman once said, “There is enormous inertia — a tyranny of the status quo — in private and especially governmental arrangements. Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change. … [Eventually] the politically impossible becomes polit

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