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Water Rights and Optimal Reservoir Management

Burness, H. Stuart and Quirk, James P. (1977) Water Rights and Optimal Reservoir Management. Social Science Working Paper, 165. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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In many areas, notably the arid portion of the western United States, economic development and increased use of both surface and ground water supplies has been accompanied by proliferation of water storage facilities. As these reservoirs are filling, rivers become more completely appropriated and ground water supplies approach depletion more rapidly. While the analysis and management of ground water and surface water supplies should be integrated, we consider surface water independently, thus following the bifurcation in the treatment of ground and surface water under existing water law. In Burness and Quirk (1977), we considered the efficiency aspects of the appropriative water rights doctrine in the static analogy of an uncontrolled river. Here we follow in the spirit of Gessford and Karlin (1965) and analyze the optimal operation of a water storage facility in the presence of downstream users. In addition, we consider alterations in diversion capacity by water users in the presence of such a facility. By explicitly considering alternative water rights doctrines we are able to comment on the efficiency and stability of prevalent patterns of ownership and operation.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Additional Information:This research was conducted at the Environmental Quality Laboratory at Caltech and was supported in part under a grant from the Energy Research and Development Administration, No. EY-76-G-03-1305, Caltech Energy Research Program. Published in Trail Lake Conference on Resource Pricing, edited by R. d'Ange. New York: Wiley & Sons, 1979.
Group:Social Science Working Papers, Environmental Quality Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)EY-76-G-03-1305
Caltech Energy Research ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:165
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171024-143650616
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:82625
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:25 Oct 2017 21:13
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:56

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