Third Party Impacts of Proposed Water Banking in the Colorado River Basin

by James F. Booker,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


Colorado River water is allocated to the seven Basin states based on a set of legal entitlements. Little flexibility is explicitly granted for addressing water shortages to particular users. Water banking has recently been proposed to provide greater latitude in allocating Colorado River water to those regions with the greatest economic demand. While such approaches are, by design, likely to increase beneficial use to some users, third parties will be subject to unknown impacts. This paper shows that total impacts to instream water uses not represented in a water banking plan are likely to be small relative to existing levels of benefits. Marginal (incremental) benefits in consumptive and instream uses may be similar, however.

Subject Headings: River bank stabilization | Basins | Water shortage | Water demand | Water resources | Legal affairs | Economic factors | Rivers and streams | Colorado River

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