Adjudicating the waters : The Politics of water in the New American West
AuthorGerlak, Andrea Kristen
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.
AbstractGeneral stream adjudications are complex judicial and administrative proceedings to determine the extent and priority of water rights within a river system. They are among the largest civil proceedings ever to be litigated in state and federal courts. This institutional analysis is based on an investigation of adjudication proceedings in three western states, Colorado, Wyoming, and Arizona, representing the three common adjudication regimes, the judicial, administrative and hybrid regimes, respectively. Adjudication institutions are evaluated from a number of perspectives, including: (1) performance measures of these institutions and proceedings; (2) the burdens and benefits these proceedings present to water users; (3) the degree of public participation in these proceedings; and (4) responsiveness to changing values. This evaluation reveals that despite the seeming procedural differences across adjudication regimes, political power is the primary determinant of the outcomes of general stream adjudications. This study concludes that western water politics are still based on power and money, even given the changing economic nature of the American West. The tradition of the private exploitation of water remains a characteristic of the West - even the "New American West."
Degree NamePh. D.
Degree ProgramPolitical Science