The politics of water in the Southwest: Policy patterns of water elites in Southern California and Arizona.
AuthorParsons, William Wesley.
KeywordsWater -- Political aspects -- California
Water -- Political aspects -- Arizona
Water resources development -- West (U.S.)
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe political patterns of Western water policy are best explained as cooperation among the few, or "elites". The extent of elitism is demonstrated across four eras of Western water policy, the Foundation of Elites (1880s-1920s); the Emergence of Elites (1920s-1930s); the Golden Age of concrete (1930s-1960s); and the Era of Diminishing Returns (1970s- Present). The four phases test for elitism in a three step process. First, California and Arizona water politics serve as case studies to distinguish between elite and non-elite water interests. Second, the magnitude of elite control over Western water policy is tied to the "geopolitical" importance of the Colorado River. Over time Los Angeles' interests have come to dominate water policy in the Southwest. Third, change away from elitism to a more equitable political environment is explored. Alternatives include pluralism, liberalism, and idealism. These options offer insight on how change away from elite politics might effect Western water policy in the nineties.
Degree ProgramPolitical Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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