Administration of Water in the 21st Century in Accordance with the Appropriation Doctrine

by Andrew F. Rose, Div of Water Resources, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Critical Water Issues and Computer Applications

Abstract: In accordance with the appropriation doctrine it appears straightforward to distribute water during below-average supply, 'first in time of use, first in right of use'. However, the practice of changing a water right and plans for augmentation make it difficult to quantify the native river flow and the shorted water user. A program is described which iteratively computes the native river flow at all points in a stream basin by applying the continuity equation from headwaters downstream. User inputs include known river flows, diversion amounts, water to storage and return flow. Independent parameters particular to the watershed include the hydraulic characteristics of the river channel and diversion structures. By recognizing when legal exchanges can occur, due to zero river points or specific flow conditions, the administrator can manipulate water distribution changes in the program. The goal is to equate the paper allocation of water to the naturally available and imported supplies.

Subject Headings: Water supply | River flow | Water flow | Hydrologic models | Water resources | Streamflow | Water rights | Rivers and streams

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