A non-technical treatment of the basic principles of law, engineering, and administration of water resources as currently applied in the western United States. Provides examples of actual documents and forms involved in water rights and uses real cases to explain principles. Also offers a basic description of the legal and engineering aspects of the right to use water and the systems of allocating water rights under the appropriation doctrine, as administered in the western states. Topics covered include historical development of water rights doctrines, the hydrologic cycle, the appropriation doctrine, institutional considerations, groundwater and wells, engineering aspects, and more. Concepts and examples are especially useful to the non-specialist involved in the development and management of water resources.