Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 2009


The Western United States can best be described as a vast, varying land, with the high plains to the east and the jagged horizons of Rockies to the west. However there is one common trait shared by these states: the lack of water resources. With the continued development of this land, the fact that water is scarce is becoming more real. This issue became more difficult to handle as the public became more aware that many competing uses existed for the finite resource, and those different uses were degrading the natural environments of the surface waters. With this realization instream flow policies provides a comprehensive account of the policy framework a selected number of western states have established in order to protect instream flows and the overall health of a river's ecosystem. Also included is the identification of key policies that should be promoted or removed from a state's instream flow program. Ultimately, this thesis continues to add the the ever-evolving process of modernizing water law frameworks.

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