Water Law, Water Transfers, and Economic Efficiency: The Colorado River

  title={Water Law, Water Transfers, and Economic Efficiency: The Colorado River},
  author={H. Stuart Burness and James Patrick Quirk},
  journal={The Journal of Law and Economics},
  pages={111 - 134}
The Colorado River illustrates that inefficient water allocation in the form of restricted transfer rights can give a false impression of water shortages. Transfer obstructions at the Federal, interstate, and intrastate levels include the prior-appropriation doctrine and return-flow externalities. Water allocation can be made more efficient by introducing competitive markets and reducing the amount allotted to agriculture. This would provide incentives to improve irrigation practices and free… 
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