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Water management is management, usually by a public agency such as a department of natural resources, of the allocation of water for usees such as irrigation, domestic water supplies or recreation, or ecological uses such as minimum stream flow.

Different uses will have legal priority or preference, in some jurisdictions and situations even an absolute ownership right. In such a situation the water management agency is charged with estimating the amount available and enforcing the established priorities. In an upstream jurisdiction such as Colorado the water management agency is charged with ensuring delivery of obligations to downstream jurisdictions under the terms of inter-state compacts such as the Rio Grande Compact.

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