Chapter 4 focuses on California, a state that has for many years held a dominant position in the field, both in terms of the positions of its institutions and the influence of its professionals. Conservation policies are embedded in complex economic strategies and reveal different coalitions – an inverted phenomenon to that observed in Arizona. The chapter shows empirically, though, how instruments such as desalination reveal a transformation in water policy in the state. New professionals are exhibiting what might be considered to be old technical methods, those of promoting mega-projects, just as they did before the 1970s. Yet, rather than a return to the mega-project, as many are now proposing in water policy studies, this case study shows that these managers and professionals are not the same as they were 30 years ago, as business and management academic backgrounds seem more and more necessary to get an influential position. And yet there is still a lag in the instruments they are willing to use to make the desert bloom.