Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Governing Access to Essential Resources$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Katharina Pistor and Olivier De Schutter

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231172783

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231172783.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

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: 27 September 2021

Comparing Water Access Regimes Under Conditions of Scarcity

Comparing Water Access Regimes Under Conditions of Scarcity

The Tale of Two Communities in the United States

(p.214) Chapter 10 Comparing Water Access Regimes Under Conditions of Scarcity
Governing Access to Essential Resources

Michael Cox

Columbia University Press

Cox’s work on two communities in the arid West of the United States shows that ex ante institutional design can generate divergent outcomes. One community – the San Louis Valley in Colorado-- adheres to the principle of “first come first serve” for allocating riparian water rights; the other, (Acequias) in Taos, New Mexico, uses collectively monitored temporal sharing arrangements. In times of water scarcity the first produces substantial negative externalities. To avoid economic disaster many have drilled their own water wells relying on the legal principle that property owners can indiscriminately exploit subsoil resources irrespective of its effect on a common pool resource, such as a shared river basin. In contrast, temporal sharing arrangements have been more adaptive to changes in environmental circumstances as communities relied on existing practices to adapt their water needs. Based on this analysis, Cox urges consideration of the long-term effects of institutional choice and their adaptability to changing circumstances.

Keywords:   Theorem, Allocation, property rights theory, comparative access regimes

Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .