Selling Reclamation Water Rights: A Case Study in Federal Subsidy Policy

This situation raises some interesting questions about federal reclamation policy and about subsidy policy in general. Why should a program designed to give a needed service at reasonable rates evolve into one where the original recipients, at the end of their time of need, are also rewarded by the gift of a large capital asset? Moreover, why should that reward be given at the expense of their successors on the project, who, one would think, are equally the concern of the reclamation program? These are the questions ·with which this article will be concerned.