The Murray-Darling basin. Boy if I didn't know anything about it before this blog, I sure do now. Image courtesy the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

Prior Appropriation is a Cap-and-Trade System

I didn’t set out to do this when I started this blog, or when I started my research into the future of water and society in the American West, but I seem to have brought upon myself a debate with the field of water economics. Water economists like market-derived solutions to our water problems, a…

Disaffected participant airs his grievances before the board.

A Call for Values-Based Water Administration

A film is only as good as the reasons for making it.  -David Mackenzie When I was in a fraternity (well, I still am in the fraternity, but you know what I mean) we were often told, nay commanded, to rush new freshmen into our organization through what the national-level suits called values-based recruitment. This…

The steps involved in an interstate water market. Remember that water is really heavy and really expensive to pump uphill.

The Problem with Water Markets

The historic drought in California has brought much welcome attention to the problems of water allocation in the American West. I can’t even count the number of articles explaining the “wasteful” water use by California’s almond and alfalfa farmers, or the ones laying out a better way forward. Two days ago, an international affairs fellow…

Ordway Orientation BW3

Photo Essay: Crowley County

Today I want to take you along on a journey. It’s one I took a few weekends ago. We’re going to not necessarily the most glamorous place. In fact I know it’s not the most glamorous place. We’re going to Southeastern Colorado, the lower Arkansas Valley. We’re going to two places primarily- Ordway and Rocky…

A new update of the famous Snake Diagram that shows the amount of water flowing out of the state. This one includes "wet years" and "dry years" calculated for each river. Image courtesy CWCB.

Farewell to the Snake

I just wanted to share this great diagram that CWCB Director James Eklund (@EklundCWCB) presented at the Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference this year. I will officially retire the venerable Snake Diagram from this website in favor of this one, which shows variability between typical wet and dry years in each river. We need a name…