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Political and Legal Implications of Water Scarcity in Southwestern United States and Alternatives of its Proper Utilization

B.L. Sukhwal
GeoJournal
Vol. 15, No. 3, Water and Agriculture (October 1987), pp. 307-315
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41144009
Page Count: 9
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Political and Legal Implications of Water Scarcity in Southwestern United States and Alternatives of its Proper Utilization
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Abstract

The significance of this study has been to give an overall view of the use of water in the arid western United States and to evaluate the key geographical, political, and legal factors that affect the water resource development in the region. This study includes the availability of water resources; usage of water, especially for irrigation, industry, urban, and household consumption; and methods of conservation to meet the growing demands for scarce water resources. The solutions for conservation are interbasin transfers with appropriate apportionment among western states; conserving water through drip irrigation; desalination of saline water; decreasing demand through increasing efficiency; and establishing cooperation among the western states for equitable distribution of water. The western states have to realize that scarce water in the West should be used judiciously and conservation practices have to be followed strictly to meet the future need for water. In recent years, the federal government is becoming hesitant to extend large amount of money for water projects in the West because of growing federal deficits. Water may play an important role in maintaining the standard of living for the fast growing population in the sunbelt and in accelerating the pace of economic development in the western United States.

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