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.
Introduction Part I: History and Evolution of Subsidies 1. History of Federal Involvement in the Reclamation Movement 2. Irrigation Subsidies in the Reclamation Program 3. Administrative Extension of Subsidies: The Central Valley Project 4. Attempts to Limit the Reclamation Subsidy: The Reclamation Reform Act of 1982 Part II: Policy Recommendations to Facilitate Water Marketing 5. Promoting More Efficient Use of Federally Supplied Water 6. Federal Policy Changes to Facilitate Voluntary Water Transfers Part III: Case Studies of Potential Water Transfers 7. Water Contamination Problems at Kesterson Reservoir 8. Water Transfer Possibilities Involving the Central Arizona Project 9. Quality of Water in the Colorado River and the Yuma Desalting Plant 10. The Prospects for Leasing Compact Rights on the Colorado River Part IV: Concluding Reflections Appendix: U.S. Department of the Interior's 'Principles Governing Voluntary Water Transactions'