At any given time, the WWPP is normally home to 3-8 active projects. Some current projects of note are listed below. For more information on these or other WWPP projects, contact the WWPP Director Doug Kenney:
• The Colorado River Governance Initiative (CRGI) is an ongoing project examining key legal and policy issues in the basin, and the types of processes and reforms that may be needed to reconcile the mismatch between growing water demands and declining long-term river flows. Products can be found at the Colorado River Information Portal.
• Public Interest Protections in Water Allocation and Management. While the western states all provide for privately held water rights, the water itself is retained in public ownership, and administrators generally have clear statutory obligations to manage this water with respect to the public interest. This project reviews the extent and efficacy of such provisions.
• Opportunities for Improved Water Transfers. The transfer (marketing) of water rights is often one of the most cost-effective means of addressing urban water supply shortages, especially during drought conditions, but efficiently managing transactions costs and third party concerns are a persistent challenge. This project identifies some potential areas for reform. (See: Squillace, Mark. 2012. The Water Marketing Solution. Environmental Law Reporter 42(9) 10800.) Current research is focused on the opportunities and constraints for transferring water saved through deficit irrigation.
• Cost of “New” Water on Colorado’s Front Range
• The Energy-Water Nexus in the Western United States. A strong (but largely invisible) nexus has always existed in the West between the water and energy sectors, as water is a major input in most forms of energy development, and large quantities of energy are required for water management and use—especially for pumping, treating, and heating water. These connections are becoming more salient given concerns of climate change mitigation and adaptation, the reform of energy systems, and the projected growth in water and energy demands. This project is focusing more attention on this nexus in the hopes of promoting more integration between water and energy planning, and to highlight the potential for cross-sector benefits of demand management. (See: Kenney, Douglas S. and Robert Wilkinson. 2011. The Water-Energy Nexus in the Western United States. Edward Elgar Publishing.)