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River RepublicThe Fall and Rise of America's Rivers$
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Daniel McCool

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231161312

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231161312.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

The River Commons

The River Commons

(p.283) 12 The River Commons
River Republic

Daniel McCool

Columbia University Press

This chapter takes a look at the future and the evolution of a wholly different concept of the way we interact with rivers. In particular, it considers the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and the most famous river run—and the dams that almost drowned it. The Marble Canyon section of the Colorado River offers some of the best white-water rafting in the world, including the “Roaring Twenties.” The Colorado River in the Grand Canyon reels under the onslaught of industrial tourism. One of the basic premises of this book is that rivers should be managed as a commons—a resource that belongs to society as a whole and not to a narrow group of well-heeled special interests. But in some cases that goal can be met by providing greater opportunities for water marketing and by valuing water according to market prices. The key is to manage water in ways that mimic market efficiencies while preserving public interests. And in order to remake America's rivers via restoration, an army of instigators is required.

Keywords:   rivers, Colorado River, Grand Canyon, river run, dams, Marble Canyon, rafting, tourism, water marketing, river restoration

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