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ABSTRACF: Examination of a series of studies of the economically efficient water allocations in the Upper Colorado River, Yellowstone River, and Great Basins indicate that water is not a serious general physical constraint on the development of energy resources, so long as public institutions do not hinder the exchange of water rights in markets. Energy development will cause limited impacts on other water-using sectors, principally agriculture. There appears to be little reason to develop large-scale water storage facilities, even during periods of reduced water production. Water storage developments appear to be necessary only when institutional constraints severely restrict water rights markets and transfers.