A Ditch Runs through It: How Complex Systems Develop from Constructed Waterworks

By Karmen Lee Franklin.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Humans construct their water supply as well as adapt to it. As they advance in size and complexity, hydraulic societies face increasingly complex water distribution problems. However, the adaptive development of human waterworks allows for sustainable, equitable solutions. With a look at the philosophies, cultural landscapes, and waterworks of the American West, this paper discusses the development of dynamic hydraulic societies, and the potential water crises that they face in the 21st century. This paper examines the processes societies use to solve complex water problems. Dynamic hydraulic societies behave like natural water systems in form and function. The principles guiding the form and function of a dynamic hydraulic society offer practical, sustainable solutions for emerging water problems.

Keywords: Waterworks, Environmental Policy, American West, Water Law, Environment, Development, Habitat

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.27-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 636.663KB).

Karmen Lee Franklin

Environmental Historian, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Karmen is a Colorado native, raised in a suburb that was once part of the historic Church Ranch. While researching local history, Karmen has worked with various notable figures, such as historian Patty Limerick and the Honorable Justice Gregory Hobbs of the Colorado Supreme Court. She uses a variety of written mediums to educate the public on complex environmental issues, from poetry and prose, to printed multimedia non-fiction and web design. Her first full-length book, titled Digging the Old West: How Dams and Ditches Sculpted an American Landscape was published in 2011. This book is intended to provide environmental mitigation for a state agency, using a creative approach designed to appeal to the general public. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder. When not studying local history, creating fractal art, or writing, Karmen enjoys xeriscaping, photography, and crafting folk art sculptures.