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Solutions Lie Between the Extremes: The Evolution of International Watercourse Law on the Colorado River

August 2005

Citation: ELR 10550

Author: Karen Hyun

Editors' Summary: Looking at extremes may seem futile when dealing with important environmental issues: the outcome on either end of the spectrum is almost always objectionable. Yet they are the bounds within which the solution lies. Thus, finding the balance between the endpoints is imperative. The Colorado River and its related international water law is the story of how the context of the times drives the evolution of law within such extremes. This Article looks at the evolution of international fluvial law surrounding the Colorado River regarding quantity, quality, conservation, and ecological needs, which will continue to adapt slowly as society changes where the balance is struck.

Karen Hyun received a B.S. and an M.S. from Stanford University in earth systems, an interdisciplinary program in environmental science and policy. Following this, she spent nine months in South Korea on a Fulbright Scholarship categorizing national fisheries statistics using artificial neural networks. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Rhode Island in the Marine Affairs Program. Her dissertation work explores ecological and social indicators of ecosystem health in the Colorado River Delta. She would like to thank Prof. Lawrence Juda from the Marine Affairs Program at the University of Rhode Island for his invaluable guidance, support, and critique.

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