The Colorado-Big Thompson Project (C-BT) that transfers water from the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains to northeastern Colorado both required and inspired institutional innovation. An arrangement had to be devised that could not only operate a complex hydraulic system but could also guarantee the repayment of project costs as required by Bureau of Reclamation laws, negotiate solutions to conflicts with the basin of origin, and allocate water among users with varied water needs. These challenges led to the establishment in 1937 of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (NCWCD) (Dille, 1958; Hartman and Seastone, 1970).