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Researchers representing each of the Colorado River Basin states as well as the Secretary of the Interior were presented with an interactive computer simulation of a progressively increasing drought and were given the collective opportunity to change the ways in which basin-wide and within-state water management were conducted. The purpose of this ?gaming? exercise was to identify rules for managing the Colorado River which are effective in preventing drought-caused damages to basin water users. This water management game was conducted three times, varying the collective choice roles for management of the river yet staying substantially within the current institution for management of the Colorado River known as...
In many interstate river basins, the institutional arrangements for the governance and management of the shared water resource are not adequately designed to effectively address the many political, legal, social, and economic issues that arise when the demands on the resource exceed the available supplies. Even under normal hydrologic conditions, this problem is frequently seen in the Colorado River Basin. During severe sustained drought, it is likely that the deficiencies of the existing arrangements would present a formidable barrier to an effective drought response, interfering with efforts to quickly and efficiently conserve and reallocate available supplies to support a variety of critical needs. In the United...
This report cannot possibly cover all the issues of concern in the Colorado River basin. The basin is vast and diverse geographically, ethnically, and politically. Conflicts over water are part of its history, as water has been the defining resource in the settlement and development of the Colorado River basin. A complex set of laws, a treaty, court decrees, contracts, agreements, regulations and traditions of use have evolved over this past century which have governed water policy and management decisions. Over the last few decades, new social values have emerged in the basin and across the country which reflect an appreciation of the important functions of river systems along with a desire to preserve this natural...