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There is now a fairly substantial literature that addresses transboundary water allocation both at the international and interstate level. However, most of this literature deals almost exclusively with the question of allocation and ignores quality considerations. At the same time, there is a growing literature on transboundary pollution control and upstream/downstream externalities. What is missing is an attempt to integrate quality consideration into allocation agreements. This paper examines several allocation agreements and disputes in the southwestern United States and Mexico and looks at the ramifications of omitting pollution control and quality considerations in these negotiations. Published in Agricultural...
Agreements between states, or compacts, provide a mechanism for resolving transboundary resource issues. The twenty-two compacts allocating the water of rivers among states in the western United States are examined to provide guidance for drafters of future compacts. The method of allocation selected for a compact reflects the state's allocation of the risk of dry years. Allocations based on models have been unsuccessful. Percentage allocations are good for fairly apportioning risk, but conflict with principles of prior appropriation. Guarantees of minimum flows should be used with great care, to avoid any state becoming a guarantor of natural phenomena over which it has no control. Disputes should be anticipated,...