Western Economic Development and Water Planning: Bureau of Reclamation

by John E. Keith, Asst. Prof. of Economics; Utah State Univ., Logan, Utah,
Allen LeBaron, Prof. of Economics; Utah State Univ., Logan, Utah,
Jay C. Andersen, Prof. and Head of Economics Dept.; Utah State Univ., Logan, Utah,
Keith Wilde, Economist; Marketing and Trade Div., Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, Canada,

Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 1, Pg. 161-170

Document Type: Journal Paper


This paper reviews the early and recent history of the relations between water planning and economic development in the West and Bureau of Reclamation activities. The objectives of Bureau development projects have shifted from the agrarian egalitarian goals of the past to provision of municipal and industrial water and power and recreation and othe benefits as the relative benefits to agriculture have declined. The economic efficiency requirements, the environmental movement, and the concommittent comprehensive planning requirements imposed on Federal projects have resulted in the challenge to development which the Bureau currently faces. Bureau supporters come primarily from states that wish to confirm water rights and receive agricultural subsidies in the form of cheap water. The development of vast energy resources and population growth may, however, provide new bases for a resurgence of the engineering solutions of the bureau to water scarcity and allocation problems in the West.

Subject Headings: Water reclamation | Hydro power | Economic factors | Bureau of Reclamation | Municipal water | Water-based recreation | Irrigation water | Water rights

Services: Buy this book/Buy this article


Return to search