Throughout the American West, creative measures have been taken to develop and efficiently manage water resources for irrigation. This report compiles a number of case studies that highlight real-world examples of water conservation, water transfers and markets, aging infrastructure problems, watershed restoration, and ecosystem enhancement.
The response of irrigators and water agencies to current water supply challenges can provide some insight into possible measures that might be taken to cope with long-term water supply reductions resulting from climate change and competing uses. This report describes unique complications facing local water users in the American West, the creative solutions that can be developed to meet those problems, and recommendations that ensure continued, locally-driven success. These case studies underscore the message that water managers, ranchers and farmers are resourceful and creative individuals and should be actively solicited by federal water policy makers to participate in resolving the water conflicts of the West.