Publication Date

2008

Abstract

This study aims to answer a research question with regard to the extent that the water conservation programs of the Sustainable Colorado Water Caucus either promote or hinder sustainable development in the communities it serves. There are several relevant themes in the development discourse that are reviewed. They are community representation, modernization, sociological development, participation, empowerment, and an alternative approach. Data collection methods include participant observation, a review of official documents, and interviews of the members of the Water Caucus.

The over-appropriated water for beneficial use and the growing need for water in Colorado threaten the sustainability of water availability and threaten the functions of water for river ecosystems. The Sustainable Colorado Water Caucus is a coalition of fifteen NGOs, which conduct several initiatives, to work on these issues. My research findings show that the water development initiatives by the Colorado Water Caucus are in the frame of structural functionalism and modernization. Society has to modernize itself, in overcoming a water crisis, by improving its water law management system, and rational social behavior, as well as the application of water efficient technology. The Caucus doesn’t ignore the economic growth approach. It supports economic growth that enhances the quality of life of in the community. This paper also criticizes the approach of ecological modernization, which doesn’t necessarily solve environmental issues and provide community empowerment. The description and conclusions should be of use to those professionals interested in water development issues and ecology.

Disciplines

Economics | Growth and Development | Natural Resources and Conservation

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