To most Americans - and even to most Westerners - water policy seems to be a complicated, hypertechnical, and incomprehensible subject: a tangle of engineering jargon and legalese surrounding a complex, delicate, and interrelated structure. Decisions concerning the public's waters involve precious little public participation, and under such circumstances, reform seems risky at best. Searching Out the Headwaters seeks to address the situation by providing a framework for understanding western water use and the outmoded rules that govern it. Only by understanding the waters of the West and the people whose lives and livelihoods depend on them can concerned citizens comprehend the seriousness of the current situation and help take steps toward reform. The authors begin by tracing the history and evolution of the uses of western water. They describe the demographic and economic changes now occurring in the region and identify the many communities of interest involved in all water-use issues. After examining the central precepts of current water policy, along with its original rationale and subsequent evolution, the authors consider the reform movement that has recently begun to emerge. They conclude by laying the foundations for a water policy that can meet the needs of the new West and by discussing the various means for effectively implementing such a policy, including market economics, regulation, the broad-based use of scientific knowledge, and open and full public participation.
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(228mm x 151mm x 18mm)
Publisher: Island Press
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Author Biography - Bates
Sarah F. Bates was director of the Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado School of Law. She was the co-author, with Marc Reisner, of the book Overtapped Oasis: Reform or Revolution for Western Water(Island Press, 1990). Prior to joining the Natural Resources Law Center, she practiced law with the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund in San Francisco. David H. Getches, professor of law at the University of Colorado School of Law, is a nationally recognized water resources and Indian law expert. He formerly served as executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources under Governor Richard D. Lamm, and as the founding executive director of the Native American Rights Fund. His many publications include Controlling Water Use: The Unfinished Business of Water Quality Control(Natural Resources Law Center, 1991), Water Law in a Nutshell(West, 1990), and legal texts on water and Indian law. Lawrence J. MacDonnell, director of the Natural Resources Law Center and adjoint professor at the University of Colorado School of Law, has written widely on subjects of water resources law and policy. Much of his work focused on issues related to reallocation of water uses. Charles F. Wilkinson, the Moses Lasky Professor of Law at the University of Colorado School of Law, is one of the nation's leading scholars and lecturers on issues relating to natural resources law and policy in the American West. He has written several books and has also published legal texts on federal public lands and Indian law. "