US Western Water Institutional Solutions Project

Oregon State University and the US Bureau of Reclamation collaborated for eight years on the US Western Water Institutional Solutions Project in order to better understand water conflict and cooperation in the western United States and to increase the US Bureau of Reclamation’s institutional capacity.

Upper Colorado Region Conflict and Cooperation Event Database & Analysis

The following research documents were created by Nathan Eiden as part of his PhD dissertation research. His work included an Upper Colorado events database, a report analyzing the social, economic, and environmental aspects of the Upper Colorado River Region from 1970-2005, and a case study of the hydropolitics in the Upper San Juan Basin.  

Water Governance Capacity

For her Master’s thesis, Maryia Pak assessed the water governance capacity of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Albuquerque Area Office. 

Analysis of Incentives and Disincentives for Conflict and Cooperation

OSU and the Bureau of Reclamation hosted focus groups in 2007 and 2009 as well as a workshop in 2008 to determine ways to increase the Bureau’s institutional capacity, particularly through the identification of incentives and disincentives for conflict management and cooperation through collaboration. Kim Ogren built off of this work for her Masters thesis in which she conducted an analysis of incentives and disincentives and explored how they factored into the Bureau’s decision making through two case studies on the Bureau of Reclamation’s response to the endangered silvery minnow in the Middle Rio Grande Basin and implementation of the Water 2025 Initiative.

Development of an Automated Event Coding Tool

To see if event coding could be done by automatically by computers, computer science students completed a course project, Supervised LDA for Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database. This work was expanded upon by Walker Orr (OSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), a student of Dr. Prasad Tadepalli, to develop a tool that employs artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques.  To download a copy of the tool, please first download the installation instructions and follow them as you download the zipped folder containing the tool. 

Conflict Management Training and Workbook Development

From 2008-2012, Dr. Aaron Wolf and others from Oregon State University (OSU) conducted five collaborative competency and conflict management training workshops at Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) offices in Bismarck, North Dakota; Phoenix, Arizona; Billings, Montana; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Sacramento, California; Boise, Idaho; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Boulder City, Nevada.  At the beginning of each workshop, participants completed a questionnaire pertaining to their experience with conflict management and collaboration at Reclamation (Pre-training Questionnaire Responses). At the end of the training sessions, participants evaluated the course (Participant Evaluations of Course).

OSU also developed a participant workbook and instructor manual entitled, Sharing Water, Building Relations: Managing and Transforming Water Conflict in the US West, which served as the primary training materials for the course.

Collaborating Partners



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