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Western Water Institutions in a Contemporary Perspective

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Ostrom, Vincent
Conference: Western Interstate Water Conference
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Conf. Date: September 16-17, 1964
Date: 1964
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/2181
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: North America
Subject(s): Workshop
water resources
institutional analysis
resource management
Abstract: "The imperative necessity of today in considering western water institutions is a critical assessment of where we are and a careful identification of some of the problems which must be faced if we are to make intelligent use of the region's water resources. In this essay, I would like to begin a critical reconsideration of basic water policies and institutional arrangements by pointing up some of the incongruities between transitional formulations and contemporary requirements. I have the profoundest respect for the intelligence and imagination that went into the formulation of the institutional arrangements which have done so much to facilitate the development of the American West. But, the achievements of former generations do not remove the responsibility for using our best intelligence in analyizing contemporary developments and for using our most effective imagination in considering the future course of events. At the risk of oversimplification, I would like to challenge a few implicit assumptions and basic commitments which seem to pervade much of our traditional approach to contemporary water problems."

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