Governor holds meeting with special interests on water conservation

SACRAMENTO (KTVU) -- Even before California was a state, there were water wars. Since then, they've only intensified. A week ago, Governor Jerry Brown sounded the water alarm bell.

On Wednesday, he called on special interests to find common ground.

"The key challenge here, aside from getting the water, is to be able to collaborate together and try not to blame other people and point fingers," said Governor Brown.

Of the 20 invited participants, 11 represented water utilities that serve the state's biggest cities. There were also five major environmental groups, all fighting to preserve water for nature.

And there were four agricultural group that feel they get no credit for past cuts in their water supplies and too much blame for using too much water. While some claim farmers use 80 percent of our total precipitation, agricultural groups argue it is only half that.

"Here in the United States, six to seven percent of your disposable income goes to food. What if 30 to 40 percent of your disposable income had to go to food like it is in other parts of the world? You wouldn't have that money to buy the car, buy the home, take the vacation," said Paul Wenger of the California Farm Bureau.

While the aim of the meeting was ostensibly to find common ground, make no mistake, these powerful political interests will all be fighting for the biggest slice of a shrinking pie.