Seminar Abstract

Richard Slaughter

Thursday, October 9, 2003
2:00 to 3:30

Comparison of the ability of the Snake and Klamath River irrigation systems to adapt to climate variability and change

The Klamath is an extremely intricate system of human design - rivers that flow two ways, canals, sumps, pumps, a wildlife refuge that takes more water than crops, a reservoir deliberately designed to lose most of its water to ET, tunnels, etc. It is centralized, heavily managed, and subject to ESA. The Snake system, in contrast, has grown institutionally over 150 years. The Snake is highly decentralized, involves the Bureau of Reclamation as one of many, mostly private, actors, and involves large scale hydrologic interaction with its aquifer.

The seminar and paper will explore the policy implications of the comparison for the design of adaptive social institutions (including water market potential), at least with regard to water allocation.