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1. How does Macpherson’s analysis of “the meaning of property” apply to water rights in the Western U.S.? Summarize Macpherson’s basic argument and key messages (which do not mention water),and discuss how they relate to the riparian and prior appropriation legal doctrines. Compare and contrast how the two water rights systems illustrate different aspects of Macpherson’s argument, drawing on lectures and readings by Worster, Bates et al, Gillilan/Brown, and any others if you wish to include them.

3. You have now read two or more chapters in each of three books that present overviews of water issues in the Western U.S.: Bates et al, Reisner, Worster. Compare and contrast their analyses and viewpoints. What do these different authors consider to be the key problems and critical factors in Western water use? What do they agree or disagree about?You may refer to other readings as well if you choose.
Instructions: Each answer should be an essay of 3-5 pages, typed, double-spaced. You will be graded on how well you understand the material and how clearly you write, organize, and support your answers. Try to write carefully with your reader in mind, so that I can follow your argument without wondering what you are talking about. Making an outline will help you.

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The three readings, Bates et al., Reisner, and Worster have many similarities in both their content and overall message regarding water in the Western United States. However the goals each writer has in what they are trying to teach the reader are slightly different. The key point of Reisner’s Cadillac Desert is to illustrate for the uninformed just how ridiculous and even absurd the entire picture of unsustainable water systems are in the West. He shows the historical path that has resulted in the current situation of the Western water and paints an unflattering picture of the federal government’s involvement in water projects. Worster’s Rivers of Empire, in contrast, focuses on how the treatment of water in the West has created a “hydraulic society” with sharp divisions of class, etc. that are in direct contrast to the “mythical” image of the West as a land of freedom and opportunity. Lastly, Bates et al.’s Searching Out the Headwaters: Change and Rediscovery in Western Water Policy, describes the history and current situation of water use in the West with an eye towards reform of water policy, largely by revisiting the history of Western water that existed before appropriation law. Below the key problems and issues with Western water use as told by each of thee three authors is reviewed and compared in greater detail.   
In his book, Reisner goes to length to explain the historical nuances behind the water policy and events that have led the West to its current state, illustrating with various examples how absurd, counterproductive, and outright destructive various water projects in the West have been. “In the West, of course, where water is concerned, logic and reason have never figured prominently in the scheme of things” (Reisner p. 14). For example, he describes in detail the historical efforts to divide and share the Colorado River and the evolution of the Bureau of Reclamation’s policies. One such problematic...

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