Markets for Federal Water: Subsidies, Property Rights, and the Bureau of Reclamation

Synopsis

This book clearly and authoritatively addresses significant issues of water policy in the western United States at a time when the growing scarcity of western water and the role of the Bureau of Reclamation in the allocation of that resource are becoming increasingly urgent issues.


In this scholarly study, Wahl combines his insider's knowledge of the Interior Department's dam-building, regulatory, and water-pricing decisions with an objective analysis of the efficiency dilemma.

The study begins by tracing the origins of the reclamation idea and the expansion of subsidies in the program since 1902. The author then recommends major changes in reclamation law and in the Bureau of Reclamation's policies for administering its water supply contracts. He uses four case studies to illustrate the application and potential benefits of his proposals.