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Communal Governance and Private Ownership of Water Rights

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dc.contributor.author Smith, Steven
dc.date.accessioned 2019-09-24T14:57:34Z
dc.date.available 2019-09-24T14:57:34Z
dc.date.issued 2019 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/10661
dc.description.abstract "The prior appropriation doctrine adopted by all 17 Western US States, in which water users are provided absolute, private rights to water allocated in order of first diversion, has been lauded for its incentive structure for initial development but critiqued for subsequent inequalities in water use. By contrast, Hispanic settlers of the region adopted proportional water rights. I compare the performance of proportional water rights to the more prevalent private rights (prior appropriation) using theory and empirical evidence. I test the theoretical predictions using a natural experiment where acequias (Hispanic-rooted irrigation ditches) developed in Territorial New Mexico are later divided by the formation of Colorado, exogenously forcing that subset to be subject to the priority system while those in New Mexico continue to practice proportional division today. With 1930 irrigation organization data, I first test the implications on infrastructure investment, finding that indeed more investment has been made in Colorado and increases in seniority of rights. Then, using annual satellite imagery from 1984-2011, I compare performance under various stream flow conditions, finding that the marginal product of water is generally larger under the proportional system. Finally, using survey data from 2013 I explore how governance form and concerns of these Hispanic organizations have distinctly evolved given the presence of, or lack thereof, the prior appropriation doctrine." en_US
dc.language English en_US
dc.subject irrigation en_US
dc.title Communal Governance and Private Ownership of Water Rights en_US
dc.type Conference Paper en_US
dc.type.published unpublished en_US
dc.type.methodology Case Study en_US
dc.coverage.region North America en_US
dc.coverage.country United States en_US
dc.subject.sector Water Resource & Irrigation en_US
dc.identifier.citationconference In Defense of the Commons: Challenges, Innovation and Action, the Seventeenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons en_US
dc.identifier.citationconfdates July 1-5 en_US
dc.identifier.citationconfloc Lima, Peru en_US

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