Water scarcity in the west has created a long history of conflict. When Utah was settled, laws were instituted (both officially and otherwise) that allowed water users to use streams and springs in efficient ways without causing harm to other users. The Provo River Decree is a physical example of local water law that has been in place for almost a hundred years. While many changes have arisen in its area of jurisdiction, it is still drawn upon to determine water rights. Ambiguity, rigidity, and overall changes to use patterns have limited the application of the decree to present situations. The current application of the Provo River Decree is therefore insufficient within the context of prior appropriation to deal with the fluid and changing nature of water use in the area. Additional research should be done to determine whether the system of prior appropriation in Utah is flexible enough to allow for changing use and human-controlled watercourses. This research should include an economic analysis on the impacts of free water right exchange on relative benefit of water rights as well as an analysis of the past and present impacts of external agencies on water use.
College and Department
Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Busby, Karsten Eugene, "An Analysis of the Provo River Decree and Its Current Application to Provo Area Water Rights" (2013). Theses and Dissertations. 3726.
Karsten Eugene Busby, Provo River, Morse, decree, Timpanogos Canal