Introduction Wyoming is truly the "headwaters of the West" with 96 percent of its land area in four major drainage basins—the Missouri River, the Colorado River, the Great Salt Lake, and the Columbia River. The water produced from these lands due to rainfall and snowmelt flows from Wyoming to the major river systems of the Western United States. These waters help meet the needs of industries in Wyoming, such as the energy and mineral development industry and the recreation and tourism industry. The water is also used by municipalities and by others for agricultural, livestock, and domestic purposes (Brosz and Jacobs, 1980). Proper allocation of the available water resources between all of these users is necessary for their prosperity and, consequently, the prosperity of the State of Wyoming.
In order to meet future needs, it has become necessary for existing and prospective appropriators to acquire additional water rights. However, in many situations, all of the available water has already been appropriated. To meet this increase in demand, various users have purchased existing water rights with hopes of transferring the water to a new point downstream. Conveyance losses must be assigned to this transference of water to insure that all of the available water is properly allocated and that no existing lawful appropriators are injured.
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