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NCJ Number: 93281 Find in a Library
Title: Metropolitan Water Roundtable - Resource Allocation Through Conflict Management
Journal: Environmental Impact Assessment Review  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1983)  Pages:67-78
Author(s): W J D Kennedy; H Lansford
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper discusses the resolution through mediation of a long-term water rights dispute.
Abstract: In Colorado, where water is scarce, water law has its basis in the doctrine of prior appropriation, in which the first party to divert water and put it to beneficial use has the right of continual use regardless of who owns the adjacent land. The future water needs of metropolitan Denver have long been the subject of debate and litigation. Almost 70 percent of the State's water is west of the Continental Divide; over 80 percent of its population is east of the Rockies. Denver's attempts at diversion have been fraught with controversy, with its long-term water rights claims tied up in court disputes. In 1981, ACCORD Associates came in to mediate one diversion proposal, the Two Forks project. ACCORD established a Roundtable of 31 members, each representing a party with a stake in the project. Members agreed to specific rules designed to bring them to a concensus. After dividing into smaller groups to examine aspects of the problem, members suggested areas in which implicit agreement existed. The mediators used these suggestions in a negotiating draft, and the group accepted all but three of the draft agreements. Next, the Roundtable divided into three interest groups, each of which was to write its own proposal. Technical assistance came from a standing committee with technical expertise. By the deadline, members had reached a concensus. The Roundtable accomplished much beyond the agreement on Two Forks: the process greatly increased respect and understanding among participants, some of whom would not talk to each other prior to working on this project. A map illustrating the Denver water supply system accompanies the text.
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Colorado; Local government; Mediation; Negotiation
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