We can argue about who owns the water, yet ultimately the West has a long legal history and an exact answer: We call them water rights for a reason ("What the hay?" HCN, 4/28/14). The owner of those rights – that personal property – should ultimately have the ability to sell the property to the highest bidder. Why is it wrong that the current, best use of the water is alfalfa production for China?
You or I might want the owner to use his/her property in a different manner, yet we should not have the ability to force him/her to do so.
How does the use change? Find a higher economic value, or "best use," for those alfalfa fields, and the owners will shift production.