As new demands for water management emerge, water managers need to evolve and accept new roles and new ways of working. Local water management districts with traditional water quantity roles need to adopt new activities and new ways of working in order to support basin-wide water quality and flood control initiatives. This paper presents an empirical analysis of the adoption of twenty-two activities and strategies by local water management districts in the Red River of the North basin in Minnesota and North Dakota. A variety of explanatory characteristics of districts and district boards are assessed. Empirical analysis does not demonstrate a dramatic difference between Minnesota districts and those in North Dakota, nor a remarkable difference between upstream and downstream districts. Board member characteristics have significant influence on local water management district activities and institutional arrangements.
Keywords: Adoption, Conservation districts, Institutional evolution, Red River of the North, Water resource management, Watershed districts