The delicate area of state control over federal reclamation projects has been a disputed issue between the federal government and the arid Western states for a number of years. Recent litigation has renewed that dispute. The question involved in these decisions is whether a state may impose conditions on the exercise of a water right granted to the federal government for use on a reclamation project. The resolution of this issue is not easy since both the Western states and the federal government have legitimate interests in the operation of reclamation projects within the states. This Comment explores the various problems regarding the effect on the administration of state water systems created by the Ninth Circuit's opinion in the United States v. California.

I. Introduction

II. United States v. California … A. History … B. Analysis of Opinions

III. Section 8 of the Reclamation Act of 1902 … A. Reservation Doctrine … B Interpretations of the Effect of Section 8 … C. Legislative History of Section 8 … D. Decisions under Section 8 … [E]. Public Policy … [F]. Proposed Legislation

IV. Conclusion