Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Assessing water governance capacity in the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Albuquerque Area Office

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  • In the Middle Rio Grande region of New Mexico, challenges such as droughts, growing urban demand for water, and newly listed endangered species have forced people to change the way that they manage water. New challenges in water governance have created cooperation among agencies that often have conflicting interests, goals, and missions for water resources. The United States Bureau of Reclamation has a mission to "manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner." This research focuses on the Bureau of Reclamation water governance practices and studies how agencies interact with each other while governing the water. It identifies and describes old and new tools used for better water governance practices. It also seeks to understand institutional, socioeconomic, and political factors that might facilitate or hinder these changes. The results of the research showed that during the last several decades, approaches to water governance have changed: challenging situations in the past have made participants look into the future together to develop new tools to effectively govern water resources. The research contains professionals' feedback on water governance techniques and describes new tools such as regular communication and collaborative efforts program. Overall, interview participants felt that the Bureau of Reclamation has a challenging position, but that given the situation; they are meeting the challenge well.
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