Browsing Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest, Volume 04 (1974) by Subjects
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Constraints on Water Development by the Appropriation Doctrine (invited)The doctrine of prior appropriation used in the arid western states has encouraged rapid exploitation of our natural water resources. Those who beneficially used the water first, regardless of type of use or efficiency, obtained a perpetual right to always be first. As frontiers for exploiting our natural resources shrink, the Appropriation Doctrine is changing under the stresses of the 1970's. Our water allocations system is changing as new water -use priorities emerge along with changing quality standards. Government at all levels, along with planners and engineers, must understand the institutional and legal constraints put on water development by our historic water rights system so that intelligent decisions can be made in developing and maintaining our natural water resources.