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Galloway plans to sell surface water, which was appropriated to Colorado under interstate compacts and acquired pursuant to state law, to users in a different stat and in a different river basin. Galloway poses a new question for the Colorado River compacts: Do compacts limit water use to specific geographic territory? This paper finds express or implied territorial use limitations in the compacts. The compact language would preclude out-of-basin use of Colorado River water which Galloway proposes. Because the compacts are federal law, they are immune from commerce clause attack and preempt inconsistent state law. This paper explores these propositions in depth. Published in Natural Resources Journal, volume 25,...
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The cost of providing adequate water for energy development in the Colorado River Basin and the effect that providing water for energy will have on the population are examined in terms of the legal framework that has developed to deal with water rights and water quality. The substitution principle is applied to water use in the energy industry and the potential is shown for water conservation and future patterns of water use. Policies are suggested that would either force energy plants to install dry cooling and dry flue gas desulfurization by restricting the quantity of water that can be consumed or would encourage the use of slime groundwater or wastewater by limiting the use of fresh water. Either policy would...
The Colorado River arises largely within the states of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. It drains some 242,000 square miles in six states, an area comprising about one-twelfth of the land area of the lower 48 states. The virgin flow of the river has recently been calculated to average 13.5 million acre-feet (a/f) per year at Lee's Ferry, a meager amount of water for such a vast area of land. In addition to being subject to increasing demand for energy production, Colorado River water is called upon to service many important agricultural areas of the country. It also provides municipal water to such major cities as Los Angeles, Denver, San Diego, Salt Lake City and Albuquerque, though none of these is located...
The political boundaries of the Lake Powell region almost defy definition. While the hydrology of the lake is limited by the river system above the lake, and the ecology of the shoreline is necessarily restricted to the land surface immediately surrounding the lake, the policital boundary most certianly includes people and institutions in state capitals throuhgout the Southwest and in Washington, D.C. In a broader inquiry concerning decisionmaking with respect to the entire Colorado River system of which the Upper Basin is a part, the boundary may stretch as far as Mexico City as well. Furthermore, in seeking systematic explanations of policital events such as the decision to create Lake Powell with the passage...
Galloway plans to sell surface water, which was appropriated to Colorado under interstate compacts and acquired pursuant to state law, to users in a different stat and in a different river basin. Galloway poses a new question for the Colorado River compacts: Do compacts limit water use to specific geographic territory? This paper finds express or implied territorial use limitations in the compacts. The compact language would preclude out-of-basin use of Colorado River water which Galloway proposes. Because the compacts are federal law, they are immune from commerce clause attack and preempt inconsistent state law. This paper explores these propositions in depth. Published in Natural Resources Journal, volume 25,...
This research analyzes potential water allocation conflicts between endangered fish species and irrigated agriculture in western river systems. Through geographic and statistical analyses of county-level data sets for all 17 western states, we describe a pattern of mutual dependence on limited water resources. The numbers that characterize the conflict appear large when totaled across the West: 50 fish species listed under the Endangered Species Act are linked to agricultural activity, and 235 counties contain irrigated production that relies on water from rivers with ESA-listed fish. Statistical results show that the number of ESA-listed species in a county correlates positively with the level of agriculture reliant...
Development of the rich coal and uranium resources of the Southwest will involve water-intensive technologies and will increase demand for the water resources of the upper Colorado. Four scenarios are reviewed for power generation, coal gasification, and oil shale and their implications for water management. The point is made that finite water resources do not necessarily set an absolute limit on the region's development, although there are man-made barriers restricting water transfers from one use to another of comparable quality. If water-use patterns are kept flexible, a region can more readily adapt to new developments. An economic market for water rights, for example, will permit the purchase of private water...
The Colorado River Basin, poor in water and rich in energy resources, is examined to see if water quality can be sustained for U.S. and Mexican users. Activities to mine, process, transport, and convert resources to energy and to reclaim the land all require water, although development is expected to continue in spite of uncertainties. Projections of water requirements for different energy sources are summarized for the 1990-2000 time period. Restrictions on water supply derive from both quantity limitations and such institutional barriers as water rights and contracts. Projections of the sources and occurrences of salinity levels and pollutants are detailed for each section of the Basin. Salinity is concluded to...
The Colorado River delta historically consisted of riparian, freshwater, brackish, and tidal wetlands that covered 1,930,000 acres and supported a legendary richness of plant, bird, and marine life. Dam construction and water diversions in the United States and Mexico in the twentieth century reduced the Delta to small areas of wetlands and brackish mudflats. The Delta is no longer a system that can be understood solely in terms of biology and hydrology; human actions, embedded within a complex institutional framework, have significantly altered and modified the Delta. In the last two decades, flood releases from reservoirs in the United States and agricultural return flows from both the United States and Mexico...
My purpose is to bring to this Symposium background information about the sources of salt load in the Colorado River and what is being done to ameliorate the problem. Published in Natural Resources Journal, volume 15, issue 55, in 1975.
An investigation was conducted to find optimum levels of water use commitments in the Upper Basin of the Colorado River within a context that allows for the evaluation of alternative estimates of flow-regimes in the Colorado River, and storage as it relates to these commitments. A framework for evaluating water allocation policies is outlined. The analytical model used is based on several assumptions as to the physical, political, institutional and socio-economic structure of the basin. The results are presented and the implications for policy and further research discussed. Studies concerning the ramifications of basinwide management of water must begin soon if they are to include the potential for the conjunctive...
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Profound changes are now occurring in the Colorado River Basin. New societal demands for water are on a collision course with vested legal rights and past commitments. The exploitation of fossil fuels in the area poses great problems for the traditional paramount concerns of reclamation and agriculture. The ' law of the river ' is actually a composite of many statutes, compacts, court decisions, contracts, regulations and administrative rulings. Generally speaking, the flow of the Colorado River is divided among users on the basis of beneficial consumptive use. The allocation system operates at four levels: international, interregional, interstate, and intrastate. Legal problems on the river are partially the function...


    map background search result map search result map Energy production and water resources in the Colorado River Basin Impact of energy development on the law of the Colorado River Impact of energy development on the law of the Colorado River Energy production and water resources in the Colorado River Basin