The Missouri River Ecosystem: Exploring the Prospects for by National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life

By National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Water Science and Technology Board, Committee on Missouri River Ecosystem Science

File from the Committee on Missouri River environment technology and the nationwide examine Council. Softcover.

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Additional resources for The Missouri River Ecosystem: Exploring the Prospects for Recovery

Sample text

As a result, the arid and semiarid western United States is shifting from the reclamation era—characterized by the construction of large, federally subsidized regional water projects—to an era of reallocation, conservation, and ecosystem restoration. The Bureau of Reclamation today focuses on management and maintenance of existing projects and on ecological improvements in degraded stream systems. Similarly, the Corps of Engineers is faced with the challenge of carrying out engineering and construction activities while balancing competing social, environmental, 18 THE MISSOURI RIVER ECOSYSTEM and economic demands in highly developed and highly controlled river systems.

This committee addressed its charge against a backdrop of over a century of actions devoted to developing and managing the Missouri River for economic and social ends. Before evaluating contemporary Missouri River management issues, a review of the historical development of the Missouri River and its floodplain is appropriate. 2 Missouri River History, Management, and Legal Setting Much of western history is a series of lessons in consequences. Wallace Stegner, 1962 The Missouri River flows through several different landscapes and physical regions on its path from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River.

3 Water Rights in the Missouri River Basin State Use Entitlements. Each riparian state is entitled to an equitable share of the river, but the right must be based on prior or reasonably anticipated use. The rights can be firmed up by Supreme Court decree, interstate compact, or congressional apportionment. The states have explored these options, but they have not been implemented. In the 1980s, the Supreme Court rejected an original action that asserted that the Pick–Sloan Plan was a congressional apportionment.

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