Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

February 1992


Published in Great Plains Research 2:1 (February 1992), pp. 07-26. Copyright © 1992 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


Clearly, the doctrine of prior appropriation played an integral part in Justice Willis Van Devanter's decision in Wyoming v. Colorado (1922). Not so clear was the pervasive influence of equity in the justice's opinion. In many ways, Van Devanter's thinking is in keeping with the historical unfolding of the United States Supreme Court's use of equity to resolve interstate water conflicts.