Sunday, December 22, 2019

WATER WARS: Sharing the Colorado River

Water Wars: Sharing the Colorado River

WATER WARS: Sharing the Colorado River 
All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2019 Bruce J. Carter, Ph.D., and Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D. v3.0
The opinions expressed in this manuscript are solely the opinions of the author and do not represent the opinions or thoughts of the publisher. The author has represented and warranted full ownership and/or legal right to publish all the materials in this book.
This book may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or in part by any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical without the express written consent of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
Outskirts Press, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-9772-1253-5
Cover Photo © 2019  All rights reserved - used with permission.
Outskirts Press and the “OP” logo are trademarks belonging to Outskirts Press, Inc.

“In Water Wars: Sharing the Colorado River, Dr. Carter and Dr. Cooper provide a comprehensive accounting of the all-too-many historical and current contexts where human conflict has arisen over access and use of limited fresh water around the globe. They review useful analysis frameworks from which to better understand sustainable solutions for sharing water from one of North America’s most important sources-- the Colorado River basin. For those that want a glimpse into a world where we must treat fresh water as the fundamental, and limited, resource it is, and what to do about it, this book is an important resource.”

Dr. William C. Schulz III, Director, Walden University Center for Social Change Professor of Strategic Management & Leadership


We dedicate this work to those endeavoring to assure adequate supplies of water to inhabitants of the Colorado River Basin and those dependent on water from the Basin, along with those who are supporting preparing for whatever level of climate change awaits us.
Also, I [BJC] dedicate this book to my parents, who are deceased.
Despite having only third-grade and seventh-grade educations, they taught me that hard work pays off and never to quit; moreover, to my beautiful bride: stay strong, dear, soon your childhood dreams
and blessings are about to become true. Furthermore, thank you for always encouraging me and standing by me during the good and bad times, helping me to keep the faith.
I [DWC] dedicate this book to our friends and family and  especially to Tina Su Cooper, my wife for over three decades now, my forever love.

I [BJC] gratefully acknowledge the many friends, colleagues, teachers, archivists, and other public policy scholars, as well, who assisted, advised, and supported our research and writing efforts over the past year. Primarily, I express my gratitude and sincere appreciation to Michael J. Dowling, who introduce me to Douglas Winslow Cooper, whose friendship, hospitality, knowledge, and wisdom have supported, enlightened, and entertained me over the last year of his mentorship. All have consistently helped me keep perspective on what is essential in life and shown me how to deal with reality.
I [DWC] thank the scholars and journalists whose work has provided the basis for ours, as we have “stood on the shoulders of giants” [Isaac Newton] to get a better view of prudent management of precious water supplies, particularly as this applies to the Colorado River Basin. I also thank my co-author, Bruce J. Carter, for our highly congenial collaboration, and for the opportunity to participate in this project.

Asked to write the foreword for Water Wars: Sharing the Colorado River, which deals with potential future drinking water shortages due to water pollution, population growth, toxic chemicals, and climate change, I was honored and reflective. We live in a world where our road has many forks and takes us on some incredible journeys. This book investigates the challenge of impending water scarcity, emphasizing preserving and protecting our planet’s drinking water; among other intellectual resources, the book relies substantially on the work of an international prize-winning economist, the late Elinor Ostrom, who emphasized eight principles of the management of common-pool resources (CPRs), such as watersheds.
There are four main thematic parts to this informative book. The first presents some historical background, noting frequent and longstanding global water conflicts. The second provides an overview of the Colorado River Basin and the laws governing the allocation and use of its water. Third, the book discusses environmental norms and the practices governing the use of common-pool resources. Finally, the book reviews solution options to an impending shortage of clean water in the Basin, along with discussion and recommendations. It ends with several valuable appendices, including one on cyber security as it applies to water resource management.
By providing a historical context, Water Wars makes an ambitious effort at providing remedies to an impending water scarcity challenge. Environmentalists have become increasingly aware of the economic and social factors affecting shared water use. While environmentalists will appreciate the significance of the facts and analyses presented by the authors, many government officials, international organizations, military planners, and political activists will also find this scholarly book useful.
The breadth of the analyses presented in this book make it exceptional in a field where there are continuing disagreements about man-made climate-change. Water Wars: Sharing the Colorado River does not claim to present the only solutions nor does it demand specific actions; it neither defends nor questions the predictions of significant climate change. Instead, the authors present a set of facts and alternative positions.
The points the authors make in Water Wars are solid and important, and its arguments in favor of a heightened awareness of a possible global water supply shortage are convincing. Early action can prevent later regret.
This book will inspire thought and, I hope, constructive, informed action.
Gen. Johnnie E Wilson, (Ret. Army)
Former Commanding General, United States Army Materiel Command (CG AMC) from 1996 to 1999

“Water, Water everywhere…. Nor any drop to drink.” So lamented poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner. In a few years, in some parts of the world, especially Africa, there is likely to be too little water to drink or to use for agricultural irrigation or even for industrial production, despite some three-fourths of the Earth’s surface being covered by water or ice. We have written this book to join those who have sounded the alarm about a possible water shortage and to help explain the global and the American situations, with an emphasis on the Colorado River Basin.
After some discussion of the global condition and trends, we turn our focus to the Colorado River Basin, the area in the U.S. with the greatest danger from a future shortfall of clean, drinkable (potable) water. As Opinion Contributors Christy Plumer and Julie Hill-Gabriel wrote in the September 15, 2018 issue of The Hill:
This year, the Colorado River Basin only received about a third of its average annual supply of snow-melt runoff. Such low runoff, coupled with continuing demand for water from cities, farmers, and ranchers, may stretch the Colorado River system beyond its breaking point. That’s a perilous prospect for a river that supplies drinking water to nearly 40 million people, supports 16 million jobs, generates $1.4 trillion in economic benefits, and irrigates nearly 6 million acres of farmland.
A recent report from the Bureau of Reclamation (2012) projects a 57 percent chance of shortages on the Colorado River in 2020 and beyond, and it indicates that water levels on Lake Powell, one of the river’s two main reservoirs, could drop very far and very fast — to the point where people in California, Arizona, or Nevada could have their supplies cut off without a say.
The impacts of these conditions are already being felt on the ground: Colorado closed the Yampa River to fishing and boating in July, and then, for the first time ever, also cut water to some users in September. []
A future water shortage is likely to aggravate the relationships in the Basin that have grown up around allocation of water. We note the work of the Pacific Institute, which has provided a detailed chronology of over 500 wars or conflicts involving water access as a trigger, a weapon, or a casualty of the conflict; [ water-conflict/]. In 2017 alone, nearly 50 such conflicts occurred, all of them overseas, not in America.
We present the various American legal modalities currently in place for handling, for adjudicating, such disputes without violence: Colorado’s Law of the River, contrasted with Riparian law, and proposals for a marketplace of water resource utilization rights. Recent work by the late, eminent economist Elinor Ostrom on managing common pool resources is highlighted here. In the appendices, we present the Water Cycle and discuss some tangential issues as well: cyber security in managing water allocation, waterborne illnesses, and the use of advanced engineering statistics approaches (Bayesian analysis) to the optimization of water usage.
One of us (Carter) recently finished his Ph.D. dissertation on the statistical analysis of educational opportunities for under-served communities. The other (Cooper) has served as the Director of Environmental Health Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. Both have long-standing interests in optimizing public policy.
We hope our book will prove of value to those concerned about the future supplies of clean water in a period with expected increases in public demand and possible diminution of supply due to climatic changes.
Bruce J. Carter, Ph.D. Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D.
Summer 2019

Acknowledgments                                                                              i
Foreword                                                                                          iii
Preface                                                                                               v
Chapter 1: Impending Crisis                                                              1
            The Water Cycle                                                                       2
            Shortages Imminent                                                                 2
           The American Southwest                                                          6
Chapter 2: Global Impact                                                                  8
            Multiple Uses                                                                            8
           Worldwide Trends In Water Use                                             10
           Water Shortage As A Significant Global Risk                          14
           What Fuels The Shortage Of Water Resources?                      15
Improper Handling Of Water Resources Can Have 
           Catastrophic Consequences                                                    18
           Water Waste                                                                           20
           Causes Of The Water Crisis                                                    20
           Global Warming                                                                     21
Chapter 3: Water Conflicts                                                               26
            Risk Reduction                                                                       27
            Water Conflicts 2017                                                              29
Chapter 4: The Colorado River Basin                                              34
            The Colorado River                                                                35
           Tributaries                                                                              37
            The Western U.S. (Gallagher, 2017)                                       37
            The Future                                                                             38
Chapter 5: The Law Of The River (Colorado River)                        45
           Water Law                                                                              45
Chapter 6: Riparian Law                                                                  51
           Explanation Of Riparian Rights                                              52
Chapter 7: Environmental Markets                                                  55
           Water Marketing Issues                                                           55
           Environmental Markets                                                          55
           Why Environmental Markets Now?                                        76
Chapter 8: Does The Colorado River Itself Need Rights?                77
Chapter 9: Managing The Commons                                               80
           Game Theory And Practice                                                    84
           Studying Institutions In Field Settings                                     86
           Similarities Among These Examples                                       90
           Some Complexities Of L.A. Water Rationing                          91
          “Analyzing Institutional Failures And Fragilities”                    97
          “A Challenge To Scholarship In The Social Sciences”           116
           About Elinor Ostrom                                                            117
Chapter 10: Policy Options                                                            119
           Virtual Water                                                                        120
           International Activities                                                          121
           Tax Policies                                                                           124
“The Colorado River And The Inevitability Of Institutional
            Change”                                                                                124
Chapter 11: Evaluation Of Options                                               128
           Water Supply Scenarios                                                         129
           Water Demand Scenarios                                                      129
           Options And Strategies                                                         130

           Evaluation Of Options                                                         130
            Study Limitations                                                                  131
           Future Considerations And Next Steps                                 132
            Disclaimer                                                                             132
           Some Equity Issues                                                               133
Chapter 12: Discussion                                                                  135
Chapter 13: Recommendations                                                      138
Appendix 1: Water Crisis, Flint, Michigan, 2014-2019                    145
Appendix 2: The Water Cycle                                                        149
Appendix 3: Cyber Security Issues                                                 152
Appendix 4: Waterborne Illnesses                                                  161
Appendix 5: Applying Bayes Theorem To Hydrology                    165
           Discussion                                                                            169
Glossary (After Gallagher, 2017)                                                    171
           Physical                                                                                 171
            Legal                                                                                     172
References                                                                                     174
Bibliography                                                                                   182
About The Authors                                                                        186


I will be serializing here weekly the Microsoft Word transcription of the final galley proof .pdf copy ot WATER WARS, and the book itself  is most conveniently found at

or at DWC's author's book title list

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