paper water
 n.— «because DWR has historically been unable to deliver a substantial portion of the promised amount, this leaves the purchaser, often a municipal water district, holding a large amount of what is known as “paper water.” Paper water only exists on paper—in the contracts—and cannot be delivered.» —“C-WIN Demands Reduced Delta Pumping as answer to Delta Eco-Crash” by California Water Impact Network June 4, 2007. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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