A behavioral approach to water resource management.


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A behavioral approach to water resource management.
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axliii, 486 leaves. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Burke, Roy
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Water resources development   ( lcsh )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography: leaves 442-483.
Statement of Responsibility:
By Roy Burke III.
General Note:
General Note:

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University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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notis - ADA9028
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Full Text





1c 74

There is nothing more difficult to carry out,

nor more doubtful of success, nor more danger-

ous to handle, than to initiate a new order of

things. For the reformer has enemies in all

who profit by the old order, and only luke-

warm defenders in all those who would profit

by the new order. This luke-warmness arises

partly from fear of their adversaries, who

have the law in their favor; and partly from

the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly

believe in anything new until they have

had actual experience of it.

MACHIAVELLI, The Prince (1513)


This research would not have been possible without financial

support from the EPA Research Fellowship Program and NSF Research Grant

GK-30829. Their generous, patient support has made possible the kinds

of exploration required for this study.

I wish to thank the members of my advisory committee, Dr. E. E.

Pyatt, Dr. J. P. Heaney, Dr. K. C. Gibbs, and Dr. W. A. Rosenbaum. Dr.

Gibbs deserves special mention for his select comments throughout the

course of this study. My deepest appreciation is extended to each com-

mittee member and in particular to Dr. Pyatt and Dr. Heaney who were

primarily responsible for the year-to-year progress of my entire program.

This dissertation topic did not contain typical precisely defined objec-

tives, and so I am grateful for their patience in providing the luxury

to explore for an extended time period. Their willingness to accept an

unconventional line of research and their withholding of pressure to

produce and publish was taken by me as a vote of confidence in my capa-

bilities. This implied support and vote of confidence provided contin-

ual encouragement throughout this long and very difficult research

effort. To them and for this, I will forever be grateful.

John McLaughlin, a fellow graduate student, deserves special

_oian. During soi ie very dark periods, his keen i:.s g.ts, rZpid assin-

ilation of a bulk of diverse literature, good humor, and sensitivity


to the difficulty and rightness of this research, provided the encour-

agement and inspiration for my personal struggle to continue. Peter

Daley, although concentrating in another field of graduate study, also

deserves special acknowledgment. His high degree of professionalism,

vast expertise, outspoken criticism, generous encouragement, and all

around good company contributed much to any success which can be claimed

during the last two years of work. To them both I am forever grateful.

Even though I deviated often from the most immediate objective

of this Ph.D. effort--graduation--I am indebted to the stream of fellow

students who continually, and often harshly, reminded me of this first-

order objective in the Ph.D. game. These very close associates are too

numerous to mention individually; however, they will be forever remem-

bered for their contribution to this effort.

Lastly, I wish to pay tribute to several learned men whom I have

met primarily through the published literature. Hoping not to sound

presumptuous, I owe a debt of gratitude to these individuals whose

efforts have been a major force in shaping my perspectives reflected in

this research. These men in alphabetical order are James S. Coleman,

Yehezkel Dror, Amitai Etzioni, John Friedmann, Edwin T. Haefele,

William K. Linvill, Vincent Ostrom, Hasan Ozbekhan, Anatol Rapoport,

and Gilbert S. White. Although their influences are ever present,

these individuals cannot be associated with the ways in which their

inspiring publications may have been abused, misinterpreted, or misused

during the course of this research.


Few exercises produce so quick and deep a glaze
in the eyes as the hair-splitting and
logic-chopping of conceptualization. Yet some
degree of conceptual clarity is essential for
the most elementary communication, and the
greater the confusion over concept in any
field, the less likely is any substantial im-
provement in knowledge.

--Austin Ranney [1968, p. 6]

Evolution of Research Theme

Most research efforts in technical fields like environmental

engineering are guided by pre-specified and operationally defined

objectives. Investigation usually advances by measured steps which

are specifically designed to satisfy the requirements of each objective.

This research grew from a similar problem oriented point of

view. Floodplain management, a traditional activity for water resources

engineers, was selected in the beginning as the focal point for investi-

gation. In this context, the problem was defined as the "optimization

and application of structural and non-structural flood management

alternatives." Mechanically, with very little reflection, I proposed

the application of one or more of the optimization techniques from

operations research to the accepted list of methods for floodplain

management. In this sense, the problem was to be molded around a set

of techniques which were attracting considerable professional attention

at that time. (Observers have satirized this type of myopic approach as

viewing one's own expertise as a hammer and every problem as a nail.)

Because of the popularity of systems analysis and operations

research during the 1960s, especially in connection with highly visible

Federal activities, a literature review easily uncovered numerous exam-

ples similar to my own proposal. However, analysts reported a limited

amount of successful application and in some cases even colossal fail-

ure [Friedmann, 1971]. This realization should have come with little

surprise since Weinwurm [1957] and Simon and Newell [1958], among

others, had earlier issued warnings which qualified the application of

operations research to "ill-defined" problems. Thus, during the early

stages of this research I began to develop serious reservations about

the original proposal. These reservations focused not on one's ability

to apply 0. R. to floodplain management but on the prospects of finding

a meaningful solution from that exercise. Webber [1965, p. 291] cap-

tures the essence of this difficulty by observing that, "they [systems

techniques] call for a measure of goal consensus, a quality of predic-

tion, a hierarchy of command, and a degree of control that do not exist

in the normal context of public affairs."

This type of evidence pointed to the existence of certain basic

problem elements which could not be understood, and possibly not even ad-

dressed, by my proposed approach. Instead, there seemed to exist very in-

fluential and insidious forces which water resource managers systematic-

ally ignore. However, to investigate these forces would have required

that I sCep outside the protective nest of more precisely defined techniques

and problems. Protected exercises usually receive a successful rating if

(1) they are reasonably detailed and complex, (2) they incorporate a

new or well-publicized wrinkle, and (3) they generate results which

reasonably conform to our expectations. There was no evidence to sug-

gest that a divergent approach would produce such clear-cut measures

of success. Furthermore, the investigation might have revealed a

never ending chain of complexities precluding the type of concise

results that could be easily judged. Most certainly, an in-depth

study would have involved planning and decision concepts rejected

and/or considered useless by many water resource practitioners. Fin-

ally, a divergent approach would have eliminated any well-defined

research objectives, strategies, and time spans and would have sub-

stituted general abstract goals and guidelines. But, to do otherwise

would have represented only another attempt to stem the tide of press-

ing "symptoms" while ignoring the underlying causes of water manage-

ment difficulties. Thus, with a desire to contribute meaningful insight

into the process of water management and with little evidence that this

research approach would uncover valid issues, I adopted the following

research strategy:

(1) Define the general water resource management problem at the highest
level of abstraction that still preserves the identity of essen-
tial subsystems;

(2) At the same level of abstraction, identify the requirements that
define a solution to this problem;

(3) Specify the real world context for which a solution to the general
problem will be sought;

(4) Construct a planning and decision framework, at the same level of
abstraction, which satisfies the general requirements and conforms
to the specified real world context;


(5) Systematically refine the level of abstraction until the framework
is sufficiently operational to permit application and evaluation;

(6) Demonstrate the application of this framework to a problem which
does not require the sacrifice of substantial innovative parts of
the methodology just to achieve operationality.

The Meaning of Behavioral in "A Behavioral Approach. ."

The appearance of the word "behavioral" as a part of this dis-

sertation title occurred at the same time as my commitment to a general-

ized rather than a problem-focused research theme. Its full meaning

has evolved over an extended period along with the gradual solidifica-

tion of my own thought processes. Although a bit premature, the follow-

ing remarks attempt to describe the broad implications of "behavioral"

as a prelude to an elaboration on the scope and strategy of my research

activities. The significance of "behavioral" can be appreciated by

considering three overlapping aspects of planning: (1) the individual

or group which is the focus of planning, (2) the perspective of the

planner, and (3) the process which links the planner to participants

in the planning sphere.

If we consider "behavioral" with respect to the participants

to be served, there needs to be a human focus in water planning. Accord-

ing to Ewing [1969, p. 26], "it is people who make planning work. It is

for the benefit of people that plans and programs are designed in the

first place." However, planning and management usually focus on objects

as measures of performance while stressing production, profit and effi-

ciency. This leads to a method of management described by Erich Fromm

[1970, p. B-701], "in which people were dealt with as if they were


things." The following example supplied by Archibald [1970, p. 78]

further illustrates the need for a human focus:

The nature of these problems can be illustrated by the
story of a farmer who was one day approached by a young
and enthusiastic extension agent, an agricultural whiz kid.
The agent was pushing a new technique that was supposed
to raise the farmer's output by ten percent. The farmer's
response was: "I'm only farming half as well as I
know how to right now." For whatever reason, the farmer
wasn't interested in the performance gap.

Next, when considering the planner's perspective, "behavioral"

describes an image of man that becomes a part of the planner's cogni-

tion and consequently a part of his planning and decision models.

This overlaps the previous charge that people are viewed as things;

however,in this image-of-man context the implications are more closely

aligned with the decision theoretic meaning. According to Flack and

Hill [1970, p. 565], "They [men] do not necessarily respond to partic-

ular events in terms of the scientific community's characterization of

them." Traditional and current perspectives presume that men respond

and decide according to very limited rules of behavior. Man is expected

to react only to external stimuli like prices, physical factors, etc.

However, all men respond to internal factors, as well, such as values,

attitudes, perceptions, emotions, and many others, which often dominate

their composite reactions. Edwards [1961], Becker and McClintock [1967],

and Rapoport and Wallsten [1972] review recent attempts to describe

and predict composite human decision behavior. White [1964, 1966]

and Kates [1962], among others, have cast individual and collective

be-havior within a resource management context. DUil. -r [1970]

describes the nature of multidimensional man comprised of economic man,

social man, and political man; Spier [1971] incorporates this multi-

dimensional behavior into a framework for benefit-cost analysis.

These types of developments appear to serve notice on contemporary

planning perspectives and to offer promise for broadening the behav-

ioral component of water management activities.

Finally, "behavioral" relates to the linkage between partic-

ipants, on one hand, and planning perspectives on the other. Planning

and management require an action focus to provide that meaningful

bridge between plan formulation and implementation activities. In his

discussion of the environment as a challenge to modern society Caldwell

[1971, p. 14] remarks, "plans must reach a point of action--and this is

the conspicuous point of failure in the history of formal planning."

Friedmann [1967, p. 240], a planning theorist, interprets this require-

ment more precisely, "The formulation and implementation of plans are

closely interdependent processes, so that the choice of one will in

large measure also determine the second." Recently, systems analysts,

who might be more closely attuned to the types of problems facing water

management, have started to explicitly consider this issue in connec-

tion with their analysis of Humanistic Systems or Large Scale Societal

Systems [Linvill, 1972; Malone, 1972a, 1972b]. Thus, by expanding to

include societal action and problems of implementation, the analysis

must begin to incorporate certain aspects of societal decision making.

According to Etzioni [1968] these would include value dynamics and the

application of (social) power, in addition to the application of tech-

nical knowledge. Thus, in this sense, "behavioral" suggests a reorien-

tation of planning from the passive application of existing knowledge

to include power interactions in a climate of collective decision making.

Characteristics and Scope of This Research

This research leans more heavily toward the organization of

concepts and theories than toward the solution of specific pressing

problems. As such, my research progressed through a gradual solidifi-

cation and refinement of concepts from various disciplines as they

might apply to water management. To keep these concepts in line, I gave

high priority to feedback from water resource practitioners using dis-

cussions, meetings, and the preparation of several papers [Burke et at.,

1972a,b,c]. Comments were varied as might be expected; however, when

viewed as a whole certain common questions emerged. For example, is

this an attempt to specify how things should be done or are being done?

Will the proposal be used now or in the future? In other words, how

does the research theme fit in the total scheme of things? Because of

the complex requirements of the general water management problem, an

answer to these questions rose to a position of major importance.

The following section will attempt to place these issues in proper per-

spective and thus to minimize confusion over them. The research will

not completely satisfy the day-to-day manager who needs answers now,

nor will it comfort the theoretician who attempts to disentangle all

complexities. Instead, it represents a systematic attempt to bridge

this gap and yet retain meaning for water management operations.

Lewis Froman has provided a convenient outline for character-

izing the important components of policy studies [Froman, 1968].

Cu(iformi.g to his typology will introduce consistency into the follow-

ing discussion even though certain deviations and modifications were


Strategy component. More emphasis is given to the process of

water management as opposed to its substance or content. In effect

the primary question is how things get done, not what kinds of problems

are handled.

Historical component. There is little attempt to trace the

historical development of current water programs; this information can

be found elsewhere [Economic Research Service, 1972]. Historical con-

siderations enter only through a description of the evolving need for

this type of study at this point in time.

Normative component. Does the overall study represent a spe-

cific value position describing what we should do? The proposal of

a specific planning framework (and the implied rejection of alterna-

tives) represents a normative commitment. Also, the survey and eval-

uation of various normative models for decision making emphasize this

component. However, the overall intent is to formulate a general

framework as personally value-free as possible, that serves as an

organizing mechanism for planning, discussion, research, specific pro-

posals, etc. This is based on the premise that theory is the only

reasoned guide to research, and in the absence of theory, inquiry will

become unsystematic trial and error.

Descriptive component. This component enters not through an

extensive description of real world water management practices but

through an emphasis on action, implementation, and other "behavioral"

factors. A high priority is attached to the blending of technical

activities to human behavior phenomenon and realities of societal


Legal component. Unfortunately, this component is not included

explicitly into the analysis.

Problem solving versus theory component. This study does not

focus on specific pressing water resource engineering problems. How-

ever, there is a strong problem focus at a higher level of generality.

New theories are not developed; instead, existing theories which

cross-cut various disciplines are assembled to meet general problem

requirements. Thus, the overall intent is not to develop new theory

but to systematically assemble existing concepts to accomplish a given

purpose. In a sense, this may be viewed as new theory since the com-

posite framework is innovative and suggests important testable hypoth-

eses. However, the primary effort focuses on solving the general water

management problem defined at a level of generality exceeding most engi-

neering research. For this reason, a specific case study does not

serve as the nucleus for concept development, since it would discourage

a generalized perspective. However, a test area is used to illustrate

the results.

Time horizon component. Consideration of this component

usually reveals itself as a hesitation over the immediate application

of the proposed framework. Remarks such as, "I have difficulty visual-

izing how your proposal can be made operational," arose when the research

was viewed in this immediate context. Specification of an appropriate

time horizon involves two considerations:

(1) Given existing conditions,how might the research be used now,
and how might it evolve in the future ? and

(2) Given that we operate by the proposed framework now, how far into
the future will its plans be valid?


The first case will be described in more detail in the chapter

containing the specific proposal. However, a certain amount of elabo-

ration will be useful here since the application or operationality of

these concepts to a great extent preoccupied most reviewers. As might

be expected, a generalized collective decision mechanism will require

new types of data, improved programs of public involvement, and modified

planning procedures. The fact that these requirements cannot be satis-

fied today does not make their consideration less critical. But, today,

even in the absence of a completely operational proposal, much can be

gained by incorporating its principles into planning behavior. Oper-

ating within a collective decision atmosphere will begin to redirect

planning perspectives and will encourage the introduction of these

modified concepts into decision systems to the fullest extent permitted

by existing constraints. This specific proposal will also serve as

a guidepost to steer modifications and research intended to move plan-

ning and decision behavior in a more meaningful direction. And finally,

the possibility exists that in future decades water resource programs

would be conceived and implemented under ground rules similar to those

proposed in this thesis. In fact, the concept of reasonableness was

continually applied during the research period to avoid suggesting

decision arrangements which were considered unrealistic for American

society in decades to come.

The second case materializes after the planning proposal has

been established and thus focuses on the future time periods for which

emerging plans will be valid. Under new planning proposals will short-

run efforts to "put out fires" be given visibility? Or, will the


planning focus be shifted from short-run to other time horizons?

Erich Jantsch [1968, p. 20] concisely portrays the nature of this dif-

ficulty, "The decision-maker, under high pressure for short-range con-

siderations cannot understand the planner, who is inherently dealing

with the long-run future." To help organize our thoughts concerning

this problem Platt [1970] identifies three critical future periods

of prediction and choice: (1) the inertia period, Ti, of 2-10 years

in duration in which very little can be done to change the course of

events; (2) the choice period, Te, ranging from 10-30 years in which

purposive choice can be effective and in which cybernetic or feedback

mechanisms begin to dominate; and finally (3) the uncertainty period,

Tu, which is too far off and too dependent on intervening events to be

relevant except in terms of general directions. From this, it seems

that purposive action might carry us through 1990 or 2000 but not much

further. This does not answer the original question. However, time

horizons conceived in this way help to organize our thinking and (for

example) cast a new and critical light on the standard Federal time

horizon of 50 to 100 years for water projects.

Knowledge organization component. By now it is obvious that

various disciplines, levels of concept abstraction, philosophies, etc.,

have been included in the research effort. To permit a meaningful

evaluation and interpretation of specific planning proposals, it be-

comes critical to identify the manner in which knowledge and fields of

study can bk organized. In actuality, what disciplines and levels of

abstraction are involved? How should they be involved? This question,

along with an attempt to define the level of generality, is the most

difficult one to assess and, unfortunately, represen-t those parts of

the conceptual foundation for which satisfactory definitions only par-

tially exist. Some useful guidance is provided by Erich Jantsch [1970]

who faces problems similar in nature to those addressed by this study

during his effort to reorganize and recategorize university disciplines.

According to his terminology, my study would probably be classified as

multidisciplinary, as compared to crossdisciplinary, interdisciplinary,

etc. An elaboration on these categories can be found in Figure P.1.

This research suggests multidisciplinarity since the study includes

numerous disciplines with only limited personal cooperation among their


Next, even though personal communication was limited, how

should the various concepts and disciplines be organized? How far does

this research explore into the fields of knowledge at different levels

of abstraction? The organization suggested by Figure P.2 begins to

answer these questions. In brief, the pyramid is constructed so that

each layer contains the organizing principles for the nearest sublayer.

For example, the lowest layer would contain those traditional disci-

plines which attempt to describe the real world objectively and to

interpret observations with logic. The next higher level contains

disciplines which would organize concepts from the first sub-level to

explain the complex interactions reflected in the real world. The

third or normative level begins to answer questions like, "to what end?"

by focusing concepts from below. And finally, all disciplines would

feed into the highest level of organization which attempts to incor-

porate ethical and value concepts into knowledge emerging from lower



isolated specialties



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Figure P.1. Hierarchy of Modes for Discipline Interaction
(Adapted from Jantsch, 1970)


cooperation without

polarization toward a
monodisciplinarity concept

coordination at a higher

multilevel coordination of
entire system of con;sts


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The point to be made here is that typical water planning

studies, especially those which clain to produce "optimum" solutions,

stop or sign-off at some intermediate point in their upward progres-

sion. Except in rare cases, all planning techniques constrain their

exploration to conceptual areas somewhere below the midnormative level

with a remark such as "final plan selection will be left for the

political process." I am also suggesting that influences which flow

into the water management process from beyond this sign-off point have

been the dominant influences in planning failure.

The following research does not permit this type of sign-off

but encourages the incorporation of value resolution activities into

all lower levels. This does not mean that all disciplines are com-

pletely explored, reduced to a common denominator, and incorporated

into this thesis. However, as a beginning, the research is struc-

tured to enhance the vertical organization of these concepts as they

might relate to water management. Using the type of structure depicted

in Figure P.2, numerous implications emerge; for example, the issue of

value resolution appears as a higher order problem subsuming lower

level technical problems, which currently seem to preoccupy (and legit-

imately so) water management practitioners.

Generality component. There is some overlap between this

and the preceding component. However, when considering the specific

focus and applicability of this research, the intended level of gen-

erality became a dominant component in itself and a source of oca-

sional misunderstanding. What has been generalized? To what end?

In what manner? To keep this component separate from the


organization of knowledge, generality will apply to the effort to make

the research generally applicable, whereas levels of concept organiza-

tion attempt to establish a hierarchy among traditional fields of


A satisfactory definition of generality does not as yet exist.

However, insights can be provided following a systems approach which

requires first that boundaries be drawn around the system under study.

For this study, boundaries were drawn around the total water resource

planning and decision system at a level that would not lump the water

management theoretician and practitioner into indistinguishable sub-

systems. This delineation along with a definition of the general water

resource decision problem should become clearer as each of the follow-

ing chapters unfold.

Some Personal Components

This section should be viewed as a continuation of the preced-

ing discussion; however, the focus shifts to those research character-

istics which depend strongly on my personal perceptions and biases.

Supposedly, the other components could be identified and described

using more objective analysis. Those to follow resemble more closely

the semiconscious premises which pervade the overall research effort

and are more difficult to identify. My affinity for theory as the basis

of reasoned research would fall into this category and was described

as the steering mechanism for the previous section. G:rc -r components

of this type include (1) my position concerning the nature of the


collective unit to be studied, (2) my perspective as investigator or the

presumed analyst-client relationship, and (3) my personal biases.

First, Buchanan and Tullock [1962, p. 11] state, "A theory of

collective choice must be grounded on some assumption concerning the

nature of the collective unit." Recognizing the tendency of investiga-

tors to overlook this problem, Etzioni [1968, p. 61] emphasizes,

"Although the users of various [assumptions] are not necessarily

aware of or motivated by them, the differences in approach have signif-

icant ideological implication." These remarks are directed at the

atomistic vs organismic conceptions of collective activity. Should

the water resource system be viewed as a collection of individual,

independent actors? In this case, any given macro-characteristic or

state-of-society represents a residual flowing from individual actions,

and the "general will" or "public interest" would be meaningless.

At the other extreme, does society have a mind, identity, and gestalt of

its own, independent of the characteristics and activities of various

subunits? Under this perspective, the activities of water resource

management would take on different characteristics and implications.

My perspective for this research has almost split the differ-

ence. Unmistakably, atomistic characteristics have been firmly embed-

ded in the water management problem by way of laissez faire, economic

theory, and the philosophy of private enterprise surrounding water

resource development. Yet, for this same problem there is an undeniable

organismic component. Values, societal properties, I)bureaucracies,

pollution, and other factors seem to have a mind of their own and appear

unresponsive to any pressure for redirection. Also, a concept such as

"the public interest," although difficult to define, seems to occupy

a substantial position in water resource evaluations. Moreover, even

if the preceding statement is not valid according to some higher natu-

ral law, such organismic phenomena are perceived to exist to the extent

that their influence on water resource management will be strongly


The position taken in this study corresponds to Etzioni's [1968]

language of societal action. In his view, there is a certain amount of

stickiness among societal units such that no unit can move significantly

without the movement of others. To this somewhat passive condition

Etzioni add the concept of mechanisms that are able to guide macro-

scopic processes and changes. And finally, he introduces power inter-

actions into the societal calculus, among other things, to correct for

the balance-of-power conditions inherent in atomistic approaches. This

type of foundation encourages a more flexible approach to the general

water resource management problem by accounting for a wider variety of

factors which exert critical influence. In contrast, the traditional

emphasis on atomistic perspectives alone, relying on some invisible

force or hidden hand for guidance, has discouraged the introduction of

other broader concepts into planning behavior.

The second personal component concerns my perception of the

client served by this research and my relationship to him. If society

as a whole is the client, (1) I might stand back as an "omniscient

observer" protecting their overall best interest or (2) I might become

involved in reconciling specific conflicts. Ostrom [1968, 1972b]


identifies the dangers inherent in the omniscient perspective, a per-

spective which might be implied by the high level of generality in

this research problem. However, the primary focus of this study is

the agency or organization responsible for translating social needs

into some type of plan for satisfying these needs. This establishes

the planning agency (team) as the client but does not specify the type

of analyst-client relationship followed.

Archibald [1970] provides an excellent analysis of three pos-

sible relationships and shows that research recommendations differ sig-

nificantly depending on the analyst's perspective. Thus, it is very

likely that recommendations from this study will reflect the type of

analyst-client relationship assumed. An adaptation of Archibald's work

appears in Table P.1 as a comparison among a systems approach, incre-

mentalist approach, and clinical approach. It would be unrealistic to

place my perspective into any single category. However, if local inter-

est groups are considered in concept to be a part of the client

(although loosely attached), then the clinical approach best represents

the position taken by this research. Decision making is viewed as

participatory at most vertical levels, and great emphasis is placed on

rising above those bureaucracy-type constraints on effective action.

In Archibald's words, "the client is seen as a social system which

because of its complexity has difficulties living up to its full poten-

tial" [Archibald, 1970, p. 81].

The tir d and last personal component is a partial listing of

my personal biases:




















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(1) The Psychology of More [Looft, 1971] and the philosophy that v
"Can" Implies "Ought" [Ozbekhan, 1968] have been major con-
tributions to water resource problems;

(2) Subjective and human factors constitute the essence of water
resource evaluations, thus a focus on objectivity is not only
impossible but inappropriate;

(3) If left to themselves technical analysts will systematically
relegate subjective and human factors to an impotent and
inoperative status in water program analyses;

(4) Those who favor protection of the natural system, as their
first priority, should have at least equal influence in
planning and decision making as those who relegate this to
some lower level of priority.

These components in perspective. Depending on one's orientation,

the foregoing discussions would be perceived either as so much boiler-

plate or as an essential exercise. My personal opinion follows closely

that of Ozbekhan [1968a, p. 212], "One of the major causes of our fail-

ure to plan is that the human mind apparently finds it almost impos-

sible to plan without a conceptual and philosophical framework made up

of integrative principles." Furthermore, "Whenever this point is men-

tioned, the difficulties surrounding that undertaking .. become

crystal clear. In such a theory is one to deal with

facts or with goals, with the present or with the future? Are we con-

cerned with continuity or with new departures? Should one write for

planners or policy makers?"

To me, a theory or statement of theory is the only reasoned

guide to research and planning; without it our efforts tend to be

random and arbitrary. Assuming on my part this kind of perspective

provokes the same types of questions and misunderstandings described

above by Ozbekhan. This Preface, then, attempts to answer anticipated


questions and to establish reasonable ground rules from the very begin-

ning. The following chapters should be judged in this light.

A Brief Preview

Unlike many water resource management studies, this thesis

probes into a wide variety of subject areas at one time, including

planning, sociology, political science, behavioral science, manage-

ment and decision science, along with several others. Needless to say,

a broad coverage like this makes it impossible to study in great detail

any single area. However, this is in keeping with my general intentions

throughout the course of study. I view this thesis as an attempt to

build bridges between water resource management (as an area of study)

and those disciplines, habitually ignored, which have valuable contri-

butions to make in the effort to unify our approach to the water man-

agement problem. The study of water resource problems currently enjoys

great popularity, but without the benefit of a supporting, integrating

framework or a broadly based theoretical foundation which it can call

its own. Reductionism pervades most efforts; attention is usually

focused on detailed study of small portions of the total problem with-

out a cohesive, unified approach. To counterbalance this tendency, my

perspective is holistic rather than reductionist. My intentions are

to introduce concepts from other fields of study that serve to unify

the loosely held pieces of water resource management.

The reductionist dilemma can be traced to the predominance of

so-called analytic thinking in science [Rapoport and Horvath, 1959].

Here, the analyst attempts to understand complexity by examining


constituent parts. Since the parts are easier to understand, the

implied hope is that we can understand the whole by superimposing the

workings of each component. Massive successes of this approach in

natural sciences have tremendous seductive powers when analysts turn

their attention to problems with substantial behavioral components.

Such complex socio-technical problems are characterized by an inter-

connected complex net of relations and feedback mechanisms. Where some

problems can be analyzed as a time-linear chain of events, socio-

technical problems cannot. Where some problems can be studied from

part to whole, behaviorally dominated problems cannot. Instead, the

focus must be from whole to part. We must have an overarching, inte-

grating concept of the whole system before detailed analysis of any

given part can become meaningful.

This philosophy guided my overall approach during this research

effort and serves to organize material contained in the following chap-

ters. Thus, keeping in mind the need to proceed from whole to parts

from larger system to subsystem, the thesis unfolds as a sequence of

ever-narrowing circles. Moving from a description of the largest system

of consequence to water planning and management, the analysis gradually

probes deeper and deeper into sublayers until a specific component of

interest is reached. Detailed analysis is then carried out at this

sublevel. Not only does this procedure conform to the requirement of

moving from whole to part, it also leaves in its wake what I intend to

be the beginnings of that overarching, unifying framework mentioned

above. Thus, the many pages between this Preface and the point of con-

tact with the more specific problem were not intended to be simply an


introduction. Instead, those intervening developments should be viewed

as an attempt to establish a set of organizing concepts which can stand

by themselves as well as guide the flow of this thesis.

Before specific chapters are outlined three terms should be

introduced, since they form a unifying thread through most of the sec-

tions to follow. These are systems, structure, and process. First,

a systems perspective is employed as a means of viewing and organizing

the overall effort. Even though the principles of General Systems

Theory [von Bertalanffy, 1968; Boulding, 1956; Laszlo, 1972a, 1972b,

1972c] were not applied with great rigor throughout the analysis, the

repeated use of the term "systems" is consistently intended to convey

this message. General Systems Theory has great organizational powers

and provides a compelling abstraction for unifying diverse parts of the

problem, that is, moving from whole to part, in a manner consistent

with the previous discussion. Thus, various parts of the thesis are

formulated to hang together in this general systems sense, even though

the rigor of systems terminology and logic are, for the most part,


Most problems, especially those viewed as systems, can be

further studied in terms of structure and process. Structure concerns

substance and form, or the static configuration of various parts of the

problem. Process refers to the manner in which the components of struc-

ture interact over time. For example, one might study natural land-

scape features, biological communities, human communication and deci-

sion networks, interest groups, and other examples of structure. But,

one must also include process in the analysis to give life and meaning


to any identifiable structure. They might include geological and

ecological interactions over time, the types of interactions which take

place within the social structure, and so on. Both components of the

investigation are required to capture the essential features of most

problems, especially socio-technical ones with a substantial behavioral

content. Now, using the notions of systems, structure, and process the

chapters unfold in the following manner.

Chapter I. This chapter introduces the basic problem to be

addressed by this research, the disparity that exists between the

capabilities of existing planning and decision models and the require-

ments exerted by conditions in the external planning environment. After

describing the basic nature of this disparity, a review is presented

covering contemporary efforts to deal with the difficulty. This look

at both Federal and non-Federal responses provides a feeling for the

level of advancement to date and the opportunity to suggest implica-

tions and probable developments for the future.

Chapter IT. Given the existence of a troublesome disparity

along with the requirement to proceed from whole to part, this chapter

begins to introduce definitions and to establish concepts which give

structure to the larger system, the societal overlayer. Using Parsons'

General Theory of Action, an integrating framework is provided within

which the water resource management system can be oriented. The remain-

der of the chapter is devoted to the substance and process components

of water management within the solid structure of Parsons' general



Chapter III. Moving from the larger societal overlayer, the

next lower system, the planning system, becomes the focus of this

chapter. Drawing upon Ozbekhan's General Theory of Planning, it

becomes possible to bring forward the most current systems thinking in

planning theory to show how water resource planning meshes with the

larger system, the societal overlayer. This chapter also provides an

integrating construct which relates the separate activities ditkin the

planning system to its overall functioning and to its relation with

larger or crosscutting systems.

Chapter IV. Chapters II and III deal primarily with the struc-

ture of larger systems, the societal overlayer and planning system.

Chapter IV begins to introduce process into the analysis as a means of

giving life to those broader concepts. By using a process, action, or

decisional approach, many of the factors to be studied specifically

can be boiled down into a single common denominator, the decision.

Nine bipolar dimensions are employed to characterize any decision

situation, with particular emphasis on the general water resource deci-

sion problem. Dominant among all these properties, the general prob-

lem was presumed to require a collective action approach. Not only

does this requirement emerge from the decisional analysis in Chapter IV,

but also it conforms to requirements imposed by the overarching con-

structs from Chapters II and III. That is, the collective action

requirement represents the same problem posed by Parsons' Integrative

S. .. --em .

Continuing in this vein, the collective action approach is

introduced into the water resouce problem by way of a conceptualized


arena, a device or vehicle which gives visibility and meaning to inte-

grative factors. Along with the arena, I provide a number of criteria

for judging its performance, selecting decision rules, assessing its

internal processes, and so on. The chapter concludes with a survey of

available collective action models divided into normative and behavioral


Chapter V. Extending what was learned from the collective

action approach, this chapter describes the application of a single

technique, simulation, to a controlled water resource management prob-

lem. The water quality problem in Bow River Valley is reassessed in

light of prevailing interest group interactions. Results from this

approach are compared with findings of several investigators who have

studied Bow Valley with other techniques.

Chapter VI. The collective action approach is again extended,

this time to an uncontrolled real-world problem. In this instance, the

St. Johns River Basin, Florida, provided the issues around which an

exploration of integrative factors could be made. A range of diverse

techniques for comparative purposes do not exist as they did for Bow

River Valley. Moreover, time and data limitations constrained efforts

to generate a full-blown case study. But, these are the types of

problems which must be experienced if the collective action approach

is to achieve a more balanced status.

References cited. Finally, an extensive list of references

is provided. This list exceeds in length that which would satisfy the

thesis requirements by themselves. However, much of this material is

new to the problem of water resource management. Thus, much effort


was expended to develop a balanced reading list for practitioners in

the field of water management. In addition to serving the purposes of

this report, then, the reference listing should be viewed as a source

book of nontechnical information to be used by more technically orien-

ted practitioners. The body of this thesis serves to illustrate the

various implications of this set of references for the overall water






PREFACE . . . .. v
Evolution of Research Theme . . v
The Meaning of Behavioral in "A Behavioral Approach" viii
Characteristics and Scope of This Research .. xi
Some Personal Components . . xx
A Brief Preview . . .. xxvi

LIST OF TABLES . . xxxvi

LIST OF FIGURES. . .. .xxxviii

ABSTRACT . . . xli

The Water Management Syndrome . .. 1
Source of the General Outcry . 3
Contemporary Responses to the Water Management Syndrome 8

Federal Responses . .. 10
Non-Federal Responses .. ..... 14

The Chapter in Perspective . .. 20


To What End? . . .. 23
A Systems Perspective . ... .24
The Social System . .... .. .26

Mechanisms of Social Cohesion (Integration) .28
An Expanded Model of Man . 32
The General Theory of Action .. 39
The Water Resource Management System . .. 50
The Planning and Decision Subsystem . ... .65
The Chapter in Perspective . .. 76


Introduction. . . .... 79
Planning as a Universal Concept . ... .80




CHAPTER III (Continued)
Planning as a General Concept . .. 82
Planning as a Specific Concept. . .. 87
Policy Choice vs Design Choice ... 87
The Language of Planning . ... 88
Hierarchy of Planning Tasks . .. 91
The "Linkage" Between (S) and (E) . .. 96

To Establish a Linkage ................. 100
The Decision . ....... .. 107
Evaluate the Decision Environment . 110
Components of the General Water Resource
Decision Problem . . 113
Meeting the Requirements . .. .127
The Collective Action Approach ... 128
A Conceptualized Arena . ... 130
Criteria for Assessing Arena Performance .141
Decision Costs: When to Stop the Search .. .147
Summary of "Meeting the Requirements" .. .153
Criteria for Analysis of Collective Action Models .... .154
Equity and "The Public Interest" . .... .. 161
A Survey of Collective Action Models . .. 168
Power .. . . 170
A Classification of Models by
Their Approach to Power . .. .174
Models of Collective Action With
Normative Tendencies . .. 181
Models of Collective Action With Behavioral
Tendencies . .... .221
A Summary of Collective Action Models ... 253

Testing the Waters . . .. .... 261
Bow River Valley. . .262
An Analytical Structure . 265
The Local Collective Action "Structure" .. 270




CHAPTER V (Continued)
Introducing Collective Action Analyses . 274
Bow Valley CASM . . .. 279
Sample Results from CASM . ... .291
Bow Valley from Other Perspectives . .. 312
Dorfman and Jacoby [1969, 1971] .. ..313
Edwin T. Haefele [1971a] . .. 317
Douglas A. Haith [1971] . ... 318
David E. Monarchi [1972] . .. 321
Findings from This Initial Exploration . .. 323


A Prolegomena . . .. 325
Introduction of Collective Action Analysis ... 339
Identification of Decision Participants .. .339
Generation of Data for CASM . ... 348

Findings of Collective Action Analysis ... 351
A Brief Recap . . ... .379
Conclusions, Insights, and Summaries. . .380


The Technical-Economic Formulation . .. 386


Illustration of Major CASM Operations . .. 395
To Decide "Yes" or "No" . ... 396
To Select a Leader ............... 397
To Define a Conflict Relationship .. 399
To Determine the Fate of a Given Plan ...... 402
Formulation of an Operational Model . ... 402
Source Program Listing Collective Action
Simulation Model, CASM . .. .405

LIST OF REFERENCES . . .. .. 442

BI .,HfICAL SKETCtX ..................... .. 4




P.1 Comparison of 3 Analyst-Client Relationships .

2.1 Parallels for Multidimensional Man .

4.1 Typology of Normative Decision Models .

4.2 Typology of Descriptive Decision Models .. ...

4.3 Probability That a Given Voter Will Lose on Any
Given Vote, in the Long Run . .

4.4 Model of the Community Decision-Making Process

4.5 Summary of Conditions Associated With Successful
Conflict Resolution and Consensus .

5.1 A Selection of Possible Bow Valley Plans .

5.2 A Summary of "Scaled" Bow Valley Plans ..

5.3 Goals Structure for Each Group Under "Soft Line"
Positions . . .

5.4 Goals Structure for Each Group Under "Hard Line"
Positions . . .

5.5 Ideological Position of Each Group Toward Each
Project Component . .

5.6 Inventory of Power Resources for Each Group .

5.7 Social Power of Bow Valley Decision Participants

5.8 Most Important Project Component for Each Group

6.1 Brief Description of Alternative Plans Considered
for the Upper St. Johns River Basin .

6.2 Issue Salience Ranking for Each Participant .

6.3 Power Coefficients for Each Participant .

6.4 Ideological Position of Each Group Toward
Each Project Component . .

6.5 Goals Structure for Each Group Under "Soft Line"
Positions . . .



* xxiv

. 35

. 112

. 190

. .. 232

. 236
. .. 236
. 28266

. .. 282

. .. 284


. 286

. .. 287

. 288

. 288

S. 338

S. 352

. 352

S. 353

.. 354

LIST OF TABLES (Continued)

Table Page

6.6 Goals Structure for Each Group Under "Hard Line"
Positions . . ... .... 355

6.7 A Summary of "Scaled" St. Johns Plans ... .356

6.8 Probability of Success for Each St. Johns Plan
Under Various CASM Conditions . ... 358

6.9 Probability of a Tie or Stalemate for Each St. Johns
Plan Under Various CASM Conditions . .. 359

6.10 Probability of Defeat for Each St. Johns Plan Under
Various CASM Conditions . .. 360

6.11 A Ranking and Leadership Summary for the Upper
St. Johns "Basic Six" . ... .378

A.l Treatment Cost Data for Bow River, c ........ 388

A.2 Benefit Data for Bow River; bfjl and bf..j
ij,l ij,2
($ per year per unit increase in D. O.) ... .389

A.3 D.O. Transport Coefficients for Bow River
t.., mg/l per Ib/day . .. 391



Figure Page

P.1 Hierarchy of Modes for Discipline Interaction .xvii

P.2 Levels of Organization for Concepts and Disciplines xviii

2.1 Multidimensional Human Behavior as a Function of
"Need-Resource" Pairs . . .. 37

2.2 A General Theory of Action . .. 43

2.3 Subsystems for Coordinating Double Boundary Exchanges 46

2.4 Interaction Between Parsons' Polity and
Integrative Subsystem . ... .47

2.5 Definition of a "System" . .. 52

2.6 Society and the Water Resource Management Subsystem 54

2.7 The WRM Subsystem in Systems-Logic Form .. 56

2.8 The Planning and Decision Subsystem Expanded in
Systems-Logic Form. . .. .57

2.9 A Three-Dimensional Model for Assessing Leverage Points 60

2.10 Water Resource Planning and Decision Hierarchy .. .67

2.11 The Water Planning and Decision Subsystem Represented
as Interactions Between Parsons' "Polity'and
"Integrative Subsystems" .. . ... 69

2.12 Influence of Time in the Social Decision Process 75

2.13 Components of the Conjoint Planning Process ..... 77

3.1 Hierarchy of Systems . .... 85

3.2 Planning's Hierarchical Subsystems . .. 90

3.3 Conjoint Planning and the Task Hierarchy .. 93

3.4 Pivotal Role of the Decision-Making Processes .. .98



Figure Page

4.1 Two-Way Classification for Decision Analysis ... 103

4.2 Trajectory of the Conjoint Planning Process 137

4.3 Inherent Costs of Collective Decision Making .. 151

4.4 The Administrative Policy Formation Grid and the
"Public Interest". . . 167

4.5 Probability That a Given Individual Will Lose on
Any Given Vote, in the Long Run . ... 190

4.6 Model for Coalition Formation Where Potential Members
Share Attitudinal and/or Ideological Positions 205

4.7 Effect of Social Power on Opinion Change ...... 213

4.8 Effect of Group Structure on Social Choice Outcome 214

4.9 Example Sociogram and Its Matrix Representations 239

4.10 Two-Way Typology to Aid the Models' Summary 258

5.1 Schematic Diagram of Bow River Valley. .. 264

5.2 A Partial Goals Hierarchy for Bow Valley ... 271

5.3 A Full Goals Hierarchy for Bow Bailey ... 272

5.4 Logic of Bow Valley Collective Action Analysis .. 278

5.5 Page 1 of CASM Output for a Typical Plan ...... 292

5.6 Page 2 of CASM Output for a Typical Plan ...... 293

5.7 The Shift in Conflict Over a Range of Bow Valley Plans. 296

5.8 Arena Response to Changes in Cooperative Atmospheres 301

5.9 Influence of the Ability to Consolidate Coalition
Effort . . .. 304

5.10 Arena Response to the Water Quality Component ... 307

5.11 Effecc of Alternative Decision Rules .. 310



Figure Page

6.1 General Location of the Upper St. Johns River Basin,
Florida . .... .... 326

6.2 Outline of the Upper St. Johns Drainage Basin
Divided into 21 Hydrologic Sub-Basins ... 332

6.3 Outline of Existing Dikes Defining the Extent of Man's
Encroachment into the Upper St. Johns Drainage Basin 333

6.4 Outline of MLRA 156 Defining the Extent of the
Natural, Virgin Floodplain in the Upper St. Johns
Drainage Basin . .... 334

6.5 Schematic Diagram of the Proposed Corps Project for
Water Control in the Upper St. Johns Drainage Basin 335

6.6 Property Outlines of Land Holdings, of More Than
5000 Acres, Which Extend into the Upper St. Johns
Drainage Basin. . .. 337

6.7 Arena Response to St. Johns Issues, Numbers (1)
Through (4) . . .. 367

6.8 Arena Response to St. Johns Issues, Numbers (5)
Through (8) . . .. 368

6.9 Tradeoff Between Selected St. Johns Issues, in Terms
of Arena Responses . ... 369

A.1 A Schematic Diagram of the Bow River Problem 385

A.2 Linear Programming Formulation for Bow River 393

B.1 Pattern of Deliberation for Each Group Considering
Three Separate Issues . ... 398

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Roy Burke III

June, 1974

Chairman: Dr. Edwin E. Pyatt
Co-Chairman: Dr. James P. Heaney
Major Department: Environmental Engineering Sciences

Water resource management spans all of those water-related

events from initial awareness of needs to final implementation of water-

related activities. The current sense of floundering and frustration

relative to this management cycle can be attributed to inadequate plan-

ning approaches and techniques which have not kept pace with evolving


According to the current status of planning thought, this

disparity between capabilities and requirements can be addressed by

providing a "linkage" between scientific technical intelligence and

organized societal action. To identify the proper linkage one may

start with the larger social system and attempt to identify the key

mechanism; or, the analysis can begin at the lowest level of functional

planning subsystems and move upward to define the appropriate link.

Using Parsons' General Theory of Action and Ozbekhan's General Theory

o f 'ranrniig as the beginning point for each strategy, the same

phenomenon is identified as the proper linking mechanism and, thus,

as the most sensitive place to begin the study of water resource

management difficulties. The decision and the decision making process,

in all its complex forms, can be used as the common denominator or

common unit of analysis. Each problem can be identified by the

manner in which decisional requirements are not met; each recommended

solution can be cast in terms of proper decision and model specifications.

By viewing water resource management from this decisional

perspective, one can identify several fundamental problem components

which must be addressed explicitly:

(1) Complexity. The problem is characterized by complexity and
complex interactions. Our lack of ability to handle complexity
(a) forces us to simplify the problem until our solutions are
unrepresentative, (b) creates intangible factors and external
effects which disrupt solutions, and (c) forces decision making
to higher levels away from responsiveness to local conditions.

(2) Collective action and collective resources. Water management
requires a collective decision process for resources which are
collectively owned. Current practices often proceed as if the
opposite were true.

(3) Normative content. Value dynamics is the first-order consider-
ation in water management, and thus, explicit normative statements
are required to describe what "ought" to be done. Current prac-
tices deliver very restricted normative commitments and therefore
need adjustment by behavioral considerations: (a) planning must
focus more heavily on people, not things, and their values, pre-
ferences, attitudes, opinions, behavior, and so on, (b) plan
formulation and program implementation need equal visibility in
terms of the social decision process which links them

To face these difficulties and to correct for existing inade-

quacies a planning-bargaining arena must be superimposed over planning

behavior. This arena might exist as a legitimized decision authority,

or it might exist in concept only and thus serve as a guide or organ-

izing mechanism. In either case, the arena would be composed of


interested groups, agency representatives, technical personnel, and

others involved in water issues.

In the absence of a formal structure to house this arena,

one might superimpose political simultaion over technical processes

as a means of investigating pertinent variables in the external planning

environment. A planning agency might be interested in (1) a social

ranking of alternative plans, (2) identifying major issues to be

expected, (3) exposing winners and losers relative to proposed plans,

(4) revealing the likelihood of acceptance and implementation, (5) inves-

tigating the effects of alternative decision rules, and many others.

This type of information should enhance the incorporation of many

important factors into the planning process, but the probability of

making a decision maker's job easier is not very good.




Societal decisions that are made in ignorance of
the values of the populations affected by the
decisions frequently have unexpected results.

--Robin M. Williams, Jr. [1967, p. 28]

The Water Management Syndrome

Contemporary water management practices, which germinated under

philosophies of big construction and comprehensive planning, have

changed very little over the last 30 years. However, the societal

context for water planning has changed substantially even to the extent

that planning and evaluation procedures themselves have become the

focus of water-related conflicts. Thus, it has become necessary, if we

expect success in our planning efforts, to investigate the external

planning environment and, if possible, to redefine water resources

management to conform to these fluid external requirements.

Several recent examples of planning failure can be used to

identify this gap which has developed between current planning require-

ments and the capabilities of traditional water planning approaches.

In each case, certain factors, seldom explored during plan formulation,

merged to disrupt and dominate the traditional flow of planning


Lake Washington in Seattle has been a well-publicized example

illustrating the importance of the changing external environment on

planning effectiveness [Chasan, 1971; Edmondson, 1971]. Here, tradi-

tional engineering guidelines led to the diversion of storm runoff into

the lake and certain proposed transportation facilities promised to

fracture the integrity of the lake's natural setting. Responding to

the reality of a dying lake, those local citizens who placed great

value on a high quality metropolitan lake reversed this trend and, as

a result, confronted local engineering philosophies with new planning


Next, the Cross-Florida Barge Canal serves to illustrate the

importance of considering diverse value systems for meaningful and

effective water management. Numerous proposals for this type of water

transportation route had been made since 1826, all of which focused on

commercial navigation as the primary beneficiary [Fisher, 1971; Hartley,

1971]. Thus, the construction that began in 1964 followed plans which

did not reflect other, emerging value systems. Before construction

could be halted by opposing forces (actually through a Presidential

decision) $50 million had been spent on canal components. Expenditures

of this magnitude, possibly wasted, provide tangible incentives for the

investigation of a broader range of factors external to traditional

planning systems.

Finally, the Brandywine Creek watershed in Pennsylvania can be

used to illustrate the inEluence of those more subtle factors such as

cultural background, attitudes, perceptions, and other behavioral

phenomena [Thompson, 1969; Keene and Strong, 1970]. Foreseeing possible

misuse of this unspoiled watershed, a planning group including a variety

of disciplines was assembled to develop methods for guiding incipient

development. Their management program, now widely acclaimed in regional

planning circles [Thompson, 1969], was flatly rejected by local resi-

dents who, because of their cultural background, opposed the use of

eminent domain.

Thus, we have these and many other examples of planning failure

that seem to be inspired by those factors which have traditionally been

beyond the planning sphere. Considered together, such instances of

planning failure exhibit several common symptoms which might be called

the Water Management Syndrome:

(1) Lack of compatibility with the natural system and/or "wise" use of
natural resources;

(2) Actual performance below expected design levels;

(3) "The public interest" somehow poorly represented; and/or

(4) Ultimate failure in implementation.

Source of the General Outcry

The increased visibility of this syndrome, in recent years, has

generated a sense of frustration among water resource practitioners.

According to Ozbekhan [1968a, p. 211], "There is a sense of flounder-

ing--a feeling that we don't know exactly where it is we want to end

up or that we have not really understood the problems we are trying to

solve." Manheim [1972, p. 2] concludes that the traditional model for

reaching decisions through objective analysis is no longer viable

since, "the public no longer believes in the objectivity of the

professional's analysis, and is unwilling to accept his recommendations

unquestioningly." This represents a striking change in the external

planning environment from the period in which water projects were con-

sidered to be a valuable asset. Furthermore, since this phenomenon

developed and matured over a very short period of 10 to 15 years in a

society that normally transforms very slowly, some very influential

forces must be active. Thus, an investigation of the causes and sources

of this general outcry should yield valuable information concerning the

changing external context with which water managers must contend.

The first and probably most visible cause is a change in the

problem resulting, in part, from the growth in population and technol-

ogy. Only a few years ago the physical and social distances between

people allowed many adverse effects to be dampened before they ignited

serious negative reaction. Now it seems that every action affects every

other factor in ways which are often uncomfortable for water resource

managers. This, of course, presents a new problem to be faced. It will

no longer be sufficient to study only first-order cause and effect rela-

tionships. New management techniques must recognize the importance of

complex interactions and thus investigate a much expanded list of phys-

ical, economic, and social factors and the processes that connect them.

Another reason for the sudden emergence of dissatisfaction can

be attributed to an improved access to the decision making process for

those groups which were previously denied access. The conditions under

which incipient groups can be denied access to the political arena can

be appreciated in terms of Gamson's model [1968] of Stable Unrepresenta-

tion in American Society. According to this model, "the American


political system normally operates to prevent incipient competitors

from achieving full entry into the political arena"'[Gamson, 1968, p. 18].

Thus, although American pluralist democracy reduces the possibility of

dominance by a single organized group, there is a tendency for the inter-

locking, powerful groups to be unresponsive to unmet or changing needs

among the citizenry. This suggests that the earlier lack of public out-

cry in water management (stability) can be attributed, in part, to an

unbalanced access to decision processes (unrepresentation). Further-

more, even if access were improved, an effective organization of large

groups would still be extremely difficult unless lobbying activities de-

veloped-as aby-product of some other commonly shared organizing factor.

The individual will not participate otherwise in such groups, "because

he knows, first, that his own efforts would not have a noticeable

effect, and second, that he would get the benefits that others

achieved in any case" [Olson, 1968, p. 166].

But, in the changing societal context, access to the water

management decision process seems to have increased. Anticipating this

possibility, Gamson also identified the conditions under which "stable

unrepresentation" may break down:

(1) Crises in the achievement of collective goals from, for example,
a cumulative inadequacy of government responses to internal needs;

(2) Efforts toward broader planning, like total cost-effectiveness
studies, which may open the arena and lead to greater responsive-
ness to excluded groups;

(3) Organization of large groups which secure their constituency around
some nonpolitical service and then apply their resources to the
political arena; and/or,

(4) Organization of small pressure groups, around political demands,
within which each individual can relate his personal efforts to
the advancement of group goals [added to Gamson's original list].

Although they cannot serve as proof, numerous examples can be found for

each of these conditions which suggests that stable unrepresentation

may be evolving into a more open, pluralistic form. This has important

implications for water management techniques which developed in the

earlier climate of limited political access. Future planning techniques

must be able to cope with this more pluralistic external environment.

A well-established clientele will no longer exist; instead, procedures

will be required that deal specifically with a range of diverse inter-

ests that ebb and flow through local political arenas.

A third cause for the changing context may be described as

societal experience with policy outcomes. Often, it takes a number of

years for physical and social "effects" of various water decisions to

become fully revealed. Since societal goals and tradeoff factors do

not exist a priori, this continued experience with outcomes of past

decisions may offer the best mechanism for revealing social preferences.

Morris [1972a] describes human unwillingness to be specific about goals

and adds that, "Without experience, without discussion, without objec-

tives dictated by some creed or policy, we are unlikely to know what

we want"[Morris, 1972b, p. 42]. Thus, the sudden outcry has reflected,

in part, the establishment of more specific social goals and tradeoff

factors in response to experience with actual losses and gains realized

by exiscinr water programs. In itself, this realization is not very

startling; however, it does suggest certain characteristics of the

external planning environment important to water management. For one

thing, overt responses to decision outcomes can be taken as a more

legitimate measure of preference compared to any a priori, arbitrary

statement of objectives. Furthermore, if goals have solidified

because of past experiences then goals will continue to be established

in a similar dynamic fashion. This strongly suggests the need for

management techniques with a built-in flexibility specifically designed

to cope with the variable and fluid expressions of goals.

Finally, the sudden outcry can be associated with a genuine

shift in social values [Universities Council on Water Resources, 1971].

Furthermore, Crowe [1969] suggests that the disparity among value

systems has increased to the extent that public decisions will no

longer represent compromises, but zero-sum conflicts among competing

groups with distinct winners and losers. Examples of this all-or-

nothing value conflict are plentiful in water management, however, the

main concern here focuses on the fact that value system dynamics char-

acterize the external planning environment. Wilson [1969, 1970, 1971]

presents results of a study for General Electric which projected the

types of value changes to expect in the next 10 years. There should be

little difference between this corporate quest for responsiveness and

the type of responsiveness to local needs which is sought in water

management. Thus, the value changes projected by Wilson provide a use-

ful glimpse into the requirements which must be satisfied by future plan-

ning techniques:

(1) An emphasis on the quality of life, not quantity;

(2) A belief that leisure is a valid activity in its own right;

(3) An emphasis on pluralism, decentralization, participation, and

(4) A shift from technical efficiency to social equity; and

(5) A shift from maintenance of status quo toward promotion of change.

This presentation of sources for the "general outcry" was not

intended to be exhaustive or surprising. Other works, such as Calwell's

[1971] Environment: A Challenge to Modern Society, provide comprehen-

sive and thought provoking analyses of these issues. Instead, this

listing was constructed to illustrate certain important characteristics

of the changing societal context and to identify certain requirements

which must be met by future planning procedures. Unfortunately, the

water management literature (with exceptions, of course) does not

reveal a systematic approach to planning research. True, water resource

practitioners live with the external environment and the water manage-

ment syndrome day after day. However, when new planning techniques are

proposed they are more likely to focus on specific problems from the

perspective of traditional planning approaches. Little attempt is made

to explore the broader societal context of planning activities except

to acknowledge that something insidious is "out there."

Contemporary Responses to
The Water Management Syndrome

The current pattern of water resource planning originated in

the Flood Control Act of 1936 which established benefit-cost analysis

as critical element in the overall decision process. For che next

25 years, modifications in planning procedures focused only on the

technical refinement of benefit-cost analysis and were less concerned

with broader changes in planning requirements:

(1) The Green Book [U.S. Interagency Committee on Water Resources,
1950] represented the first government-wide effort to formulate,
in economic terms, the philosophy expressed by the Flood Control
Act of 1936. This document contained specifications and proce-
dures designed to insure that project analysis conformed to estab-
lished theories in welfare economics.

(2) Next, to correct for the fact that each agency interpreted the
Green Book to fit :its separate requirements, Circular A-47
[U.S. Bureau of the Budget, 1952] attempted to establish a uniform
Federal policy for project analysis. This along with other Bureau
specifications has the effect of emphasizing national economic
efficiency as the primary water resource objective at the expense
of other objectives such as environmental protection.

(3) Congressional dissatisfaction with the lack of flexibility imposed
by Circular A-47 encouraged independent review of existing proceed-
ings [Hufschmidt et al., 1961] and the eventual publication of
Senate Document 97 [U.S. Senate, 1962] which was never actually
approved by the Senate. This document, which is still the unwrit-
ten rule in Federal water resource planning, was an attempt to
make procedures as flexible and robust as possible yet consistent
with requirements of economic analysis.

Since this sequence of modifications represents only refinements in

the technical deficiencies of cost-benefit analysis, they should not be

classified along with more recent attempts to study broader planning

requirements. In this regard, Senate Document 97 can be viewed as the

last of the "traditional" guidelines and the termination of an era

which emphasized the engineering-economic approach to water resource

management. All serious investigations of water planning since Senate

Document 97 have explored beyond these restricted boundaries. Thus,

it is unlikely that future "S. D. 97's" will exclude explicit recommen-

dations to meet broader planning requirements. The following review

attempts to describe the nature of these explorations which, unfortu-

nately, represent passive responses rather than purposeful efforts to

redefine planning processes. Nevertheless, recent studies in this

transition period offer strong suggestions concerning the direction

which water planning will take and provide a reference point for con-

cepts appearing in the following chapters.

Federal Responses

For the most part, Federal responses have been directed toward

solving specific problems and not toward the vitalization of planning

processes in general. Evidence of this is revealed by the proportion-

ally large expenditures for construction and the development of tech-

nology. However, in the early 60s the Water Resources Research Act

of 2964 (PL 88-397, as amended) led to the organization of the office

of Water Resources Research which provided an outlet for funds applied

to diverse research activities. Considering all recent studies that

have a broad planning focus OWRR has sponsored only a small proportion.

Their primary influence has been expressed through the collection and

dissemination of water-related information leading to the recent bib-

liographies on Institutional Aspects of Water Resources Development

[WRSIC, 1971] and Urban Water Planning [WRSIC, 1972].

In the mid 1960s the Committee on Water of the National Academy

of Sciences published an influential pamphlet Alternatives in Water

Thi :j,i;t [NAS/NRC, 1966]. This document spelled out clearly the need

for a broader planning focus emphasizing the overall planning process

including a human focus, values and value dynamics, alternative

F'ltlCes, equity and the distribution of benefits and costs, intangibles

and nonmarketable effects, and so on. Such factors were not mysterious

to water management prior to 1966; however, the Committee on Water

established an unequivocal position relative to the external context

for planning. This, in a sensesevered the possibility of retreat in

future efforts from the true requirements of meaningful water management.

Another Federal response to changing requirements emerged from

the recommendations of the Senate Select Committee on National Water

Resources [U.S. Senate, 1961]. This committee recognized the need for

more meaningful coordination among existing water programs, a fact that

led to the Water Resources Planning Act of 1965 (P.L. 89-80, 22 July

1965). Among other actions, this Act established the cabinet-level

Water Resources Council which (1) administers grants for state water

planning, (2) coordinates river basin planning including river basin

commissions established by the Act, and (3) recommends policies and

procedures for Federal water resource development programs.

The latter provision represents the Federal response of interest

to this review when considering the overall process of water planning.

To accomplish this, the Council formed a special task force in November

1968 to develop more responsive procedures for the planning and evalua-

tion of water and related land resources. Their most recent proposal

[U.S. Water Resources Council, 1971] begins to reflect, in an explicit

manner, certain requirements of the external planning environment, as

described in previous paragraphs, in particular the need to consider

a broader range of social objectives. Given the earlier Federal empha-

sis on national economic efficiency as the primary objective, the task

force proposal expands the list to include, in addition, the enhancement

of (1) regional development, (2) environmental quality, and (3) social

well-being. Furthermore, the proposal makes clear that no single

objective should be automatically considered to be the primary objec-

tive and that proposed plans should be evaluated in terms of their

contributions to the overall set of objectives.

This represents a more intimate association with the changing

societal context then had been achieved by earlier engineering-

economic guidelines. However, the task force proposal grew out of the

philosophy of benefit-cost analysis and, as a result, suffers from

similar deficiencies. First, it still represents an aggregate analysis

with few provisions to help identify the specific recipients of benefits

and costs. Not only does aggregate reporting submerge political impli-

cations and the nature of the social decision process, it also impedes

an analysis of equity or "who" gets "what." Quite often this type of

lumped analysis will justify benefits to a particular clientele group

in the name of the overall public good. Second, the specific task

force proposals ignore the value dynamics which surround water problems.

Their procedure will enhance the explicit consideration of different

objectives but does not offer guidelines to assist in the selection of

a single plan from the set of good available plans. Therefore, the

first-order problem, the resolution of diverse value systems, still


Further Federal responses to pressures from the external

planning environment emerged in the National Water Commission Act

(P.L. 90-515, 26 September 1968) which, of course, established the

National Water Commission. Historically, fact-finding bodies have

usually been attached to various coordinated governmental resource

studies [U.S. Senate, 1959]. The most recent example was the so-called

"Kerr" Committee [U.S. Senate, 1961] which like many of its predeces-

sors was too closely associated with the ebb and flow of Congressional

politics. To avoid this type of difficulty the Johnson administration

(had) established the independent National Water Commission to conduct

the broadest possible exploration into water related issues. Aside from

their technical studies, the Commission has investigated intensively

the legal aspects of water management, organizational and decision mak-

ing components [Clyde and Jensen, 1971; Delogu, 1971; Fox, 1971q Ingram,

1971b Ostrom, 1971a; Schmid, 1971; Urban Systems, 1971], the problems

and expectations of public participation activities [Warner, 1971],

environmental quality and aesthetics [Goldman, 1971, Litton, 1971], and

planning [Consulting Panel, 1972], among many others. The point to be

emphasized here is that, at least on a quasi-Federal level, substantial

interest has been allocated to nontechnical components of water manage-

ment. In later chapters, shortcomings of various studies listed here

will be identified, however, the extensive effort by the Commission in

this area reveals a certain commitment to factors which have not been

considered explicitly in the past.

The last Federal response of interest to this review is con-

tained in the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (P.L. 91-190,

1 January 1970). This legislation established the Council on Environ-

mental Quality within the Office of Science and Technology and, among

other things, required that CEQ coordinate the preparation of "environ-

mental statements" on Federal actions significantly affecting the qual-

ity of the human environment. Subsequent guidelines issued by CEQ

[Council on Environmental Quality, 1971a,b] represent only procedural

modifications in the existing flow of Federal planning activities, not

changes in decision making or planning processes. However, it has had

the effect of raising the stature and visibility of environmental

considerations which may set a precedent for similar emphasis on social

and political "effects." Thus, in this sense, N.E.P.A. can be viewed

as a legitimate Federal response to the external planning requirements

described earlier.

Non-Federal Responses

For several years, various non-Federal individuals and groups,

like the American Institute of Planners, have responded to changing

planning requirements. Also, there has been considerable interest in

the development and application of quantitative "planning" techniques

in water management specifically. In the late 1950s, the Harvard Water

Program [Maass et al., 1962] sparked an avalanche of efforts to apply

systems engineering techniques to water management, which continues

today. However, in the context of this review, these cannot be equated

with planning; instead, they represent mainly informational mechanisms

for the larger planning and decision system. Thus, the following para-

graphs will focus on efforts, applied to water management, which reflect

the need to consider the broader societal context for "planning."

The Universities Council on Water Resources [1971] seems to be

among the first non-Federal practitioners to fully explore the planning

realm beyond classical considerations. Their Task Force on Water

Resources Evaluation recognizes that the process of water management

must be embedded in the overlayer of organized societal action and that

traditional evaluation techniques fail to accomplish this. Based on

these conclusions, the Task Force outlined a research program to improve

evaluation processes that included, among others, the overall planning

process, public participation, the role of values and conflict, social

indicators, and bargaining mechanisms. Following this, the American

Water Resources Association, as professional representative of water

practitioners, explored these issues in more detail in an attempt to

emphasize this broader planning perspective [Whipple, 1970]. Even

traditionally technical organizations such as the American Society of

Civil Engineers have started to reassess their roles by redefining

environmental engineering and by emphasizing a human focus, socio-

technical systems, purposive action, social goals, and so on [ASCE, 1971].

In addition to Federal guidelines and professional society

investigations there have been a number of individual research activ-

ities which seem to be setting the tone for planning and decision mak-

ing in the 1970s. As an example, The Technical Committee of the Water

Resource Centers of the Thirteen Western States [1971] has initiated

a systematic investigation of social goals and their relevance to water

planning and management. They attempt to provide a means for evaluating

the (expected) performance of water plans using an array of social indi-

cators which can be related to societal goals through a hierarchy of

subgoals and objectives. Although social indicators have been studied

for possible use in other planning areas (for example, Toward a Social

Report [U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1969] and

Social Indicators [Bauer, 1966]), this study represents their debut in

water resource management. Even more important, however, is the

implication that water related activities can and should be evaluated

systematically in terms of their performance relative to a broad range

of social goals and objectives.

In a slightly different context, the four broad objectives

proposed by the Water Resources Council [1971] have ignited a flurry of

interest in "multiobjective" planning techniques. Here, there seems to

be less emphasis on the complex interactions which eventually reveal

themselves as movement toward or away from various objectives; instead,

the analysis focuses on the critical tradeoffs that may exist between

pairs of objectives themselves, and further, the specific tradeoff

value that can be called the "best." Most efforts to date, especially

Major [1969], Major and Associates [1970], and Miller and Byers [1972,

1973] have identified the tradeoffs that seem to exist between some

measure of environmental quality and national economic benefits. Major

carries this analysis a step further by defining the specific tradeoff

values preferred by the Corps of Engineers and Conservationists in

a particular river basin. It is not altogether clear how the final

"best" tradeoff would be selected once various preferences have been

expressed, i.e., Corps vs Conservationists. However, this type of

analysis does open up the evaluation of water programs to the extent

that various objectives and diverse social preferences can be explic-

itly considered and, conversely, cannot be easily ignored.

In recent studies, emphasis has also been placed on participants

Ln the water .,-.'ment system, in contrast to the previous focus on

goal dynamics. For example, Bromley et aZ. [1971] provide an elaborate

appeal for a display of various groups along with the costs and benefits

accruing to each (for each proposed plan). This, they feel, would be

a more substantial contribution to effective decision making, at all

levels, compared to other more aggregate analyses. Other investigators

[Heaney et al., 1972; Burke et al., 1972a,b,c] carry this type of

analysis a step further by suggesting the types of behavior that various

groups might display based on the distribution of benefits and costs.

Without doubt, such analyses begin to complicate water management pro-

cedures. However, they do represent initial steps in the overall

attempt to bring a planning into closer harmony with the larger social


Further emphasis on participants is reflected by various

attempts to involve the public in water management. Citizen action

programs of one type or another have been prominent components in other

areas such as urban planning for a number of years. Water management

programs have lagged in their willingness to introduce public partic-

ipation activities in the same way that social indicators seem to be

receiving less than their share of attention. However, there seems to

be a growing commitment to broader based involvement even in the face

of initial setbacks in various water-related trial runs. As a matter

of policy, the Corps of Engineers has formally established public

dialogue and participation as an integral part of their planning process

[Institute for Water Resources, 1970]. Dodge [1973] reemphasizes this

commitment but points out the difficulties involved in translating broad

policy into tractable programs at field level. Two notable exceptions

have been documented. First, considerable success was realized in

administering a series of workshops during the planning stages of

a Susquehanna River project [Borton et al., 1970], even though diffi-

culty was encountered when introducing participation data into decision

making calculations. On the other hand, Sargent [1972] describes a

more successful program in the Pacific Northwest at least in the area

of information exchange and development of public trust.

To add further fuel to the growing emphasis on involvement,

Flack describes a system of computer graphics which was designed to

enhance information display and transfer during the process of conflict

resolution [Flack and Summers, 1971; Flack, 1972]. This type of

research places earlier failures in a different light by suggesting

that techniques, as yet undeveloped, can make public participation a

more meaningful exercise. For example, an array of professional advo-

cates representing various interested groups might interact, during the

planning process, using computer-assisted techniques, Delphi procedures

[Dalkey, 1969], operational gaming, and others. Operational gaming, in

particular, holds much promise not only for educating decision makers

but also for communicating with laymen who might become involved.

The River Basin Model sponsored by EPA [Environmetrics, Inc., 1971]

represents the most sophisticated operational game available with spe-

cific focus on water-related issues. However, at this time, little

feedback is available to judge its performance.

Other responses of interest to broader planning requirements

include the simulation of decision processes and the investigation

of alternative futures which might flow from various policy decisions.

Bulkley and McLaughlin [1966] formulate a political simulation model

which attempts to portray the alignment of various interest groups

relative to proposed water projects. Even though this model is a

static or snapshot approach, much useful information can be provided

relative to the interactions between technical planning and the existing

social decision structure. More recent efforts in this area use prin-

ciples of Industrial Dynamics [Forrester, 1961] to simulate the

process of decision making as it evolves over time [Males et al., 1970;

Gates et al., 1970; Males and Gates, 1971]. This specific work focuses

on a regional pollution control commission in California and attempts

to evaluate the implications of alternative decision making arrangements.

Dynamic models are also useful in revealing alternative future

outcomes that might flow from various policy decisions. Such an

approach is employed in the well publicised Limits to Growth [Meadows

et aZ., 1972] which characterizes future world conditions of population,

pollution, etc., as a function of various resource management policies.

Also, for the California situation, Males and Gates were able to demon-

strate a variety of future pollution patterns resulting from different

levels of influence exerted by polluters. Theywere further able to

show that levels of pollution were very sensitive to the emphasis that

control authorities placed on "assimilative capacity" as a parameter in

regulatory efforts. Kane et at. [1972, 1973] employ a similar tech-

nique to investigate the alternative future conditions which might flow

from various Canadian policies covering sales of water to the United

States. At this stage, these investigators emphasize, not an accuracy

of prediction, but the capability to integrate and educate teams of

investigators including decision makers, laymen, and technical experts.

The Chapter in Perspective

This chapter emphasizes the disparity that exists betwtv.en

current planning requirements and contemporary planning capabilities.

It is presumed that both recent examples of planning failure and current

efforts to improve planning represent a response to the existence of

this disparity. Furthermore, since this gap developed rapidly in our

society, which usually changes slowly, it is suggested that powerful

forces (that cannot be ignored) must be active. These phenomena along

with the presumed importance of the external context relative to plan-

ning activities, lead to a brief exploration of external conditions and

then to the presentation of certain general requirements that future

planning approaches must satisfy:

(1) Interactions have become the nemesis of water managers; everything
seems to affect everything else. Future efforts must pay explicit
attention to these "systems" effects;

(2) Planning efforts must respond to the existence of the larger social
decision system. One characteristic in particular, improved access
to the decision process, suggests that involved groups must be con-
sidered explicitly;

(3) Goals and objectives can no longer be viewed as given. The naive,
ingenuous view of goals, which characterize traditional approaches,
must be replaced by the understanding that goals and objectives
evolve during the process of planning and decision making; and

(4) Values and value dynamics represent the critical ingredient in
planning and decision making. In fact the first-order consider-
ation in water management can be described as the "resolution of
diverse value systems."

Water resource practitioners have only recently responded

seriously to these broader planning requirements. These few responses,

however, outline the direction to be expected from research into plan-

ning and decision making. It will no longer be acceptable to retreat

from these requirements even though our tools for handling them must

presently be considered inadequate. Instead, our efforts should focus

on the problem of redefining management techniques until they conform

more closely to requirements in the external planning environment.

The chapters to follow attempt to move forward, on a broad

front, in the effort to address these requirements. Instead of focus-

ing on a specific subproblem, the study is designed to provide an over-

all foundation for organizing efforts in specific areas. Instead of

developing new and original theories, the primary intent is to synthe-

size into a cohesive package fragmented water management capabilities

using where necessary essential concepts from other fields of study.

Instead of viewing the general problem from within, an attempt is made

to step back and assume a fresh perspective. An example can be used

to illustrate this point. The most recent effort to review water

resource planning was submitted to the National Water Commission by the

Consulting Panel on Water Resource Planning [1972]. According to their

report, "the members' individuaZ experiences [emphasis added] in plan-

ning and administration suggest some [planning] alternatives that

appeared worthy of tes' [p. 48]. This is not intended to discredit the

many years of experience represented by the panel, however, with this

initial perspective innovative or imaginative recommendations could not

have easily emerged. Their specific proposals in general represent

patchwork on existing organizations and procedures, not a systematic

attempt to develop more fundamental planning methods.

Little attempt has been made to bring water planning in line

with the more current planning theories. Few efforts even suggest that

water management can be cast within general concepts of social action.

Although theories of planning and social action themselves seem to be

in an evolutionary stage, the effort now to adjust water management

concepts to conform to these concepts will permit more meaningful and

unified future developments. This reflects the premise that theory

represents the only reasoned guide to action; without a minimum of

organizing concepts future efforts will teter on the brink of arbi-

trariness. Only a sound conceptual foundation will allow technology

to be placed in its proper perspective and will encourage its proper

blending with nontechnical elements.

Many of the specific proposals of this study can be judged only

through the test of time. However, certain desirable consequences will

emerge from the effort itself. First, the final proposal of a partic-

ular planning and decision framework begins to expose critical issues

that tend to remain dormant under more traditional circumstances.

This framework requires an examination of many difficult questions as

a part of its operation and further provides mechanism for organizing

discussion andexamination. Thus, the proposal does not allow important

factors to be hidden from view. The second spinoff from this study,

hopefully an influential one, is that it represents a type of profes-

sional soul searching which has not been prominent in the development

of water management procedures. Thus, it challenges water managers to

look beyond their own history and expertise even if only to counter

proposals in the following chapters. Complacency in the face of our

changing societal context can be no virtue.



One can cite many examples of policies of government
in which the failure to recognize that what was in-
volved was essentially a social system has led if not
to disaster at least to gross inefficiency. We
have neglected the social systems' aspects of the
problem, and treat social systems as if they were
physical systems.

--Kenneth Boulding [1967, pp. 884-885]

To What End?

The preceding chapter serves as a prologue for the orderly

exploration of planning and decision making problems and the recommen-

dation of procedures to mitigate their effects. Primary emphasis

focused on the gap that exists between the substance and processes of

contemporary planning and the larger societal overlayer. This gap was

singled out as a major contributor to the existence of the water man-

agement syndrome. Also, by implication, it was suggested that high

priority should be assigned to the task of reformulating planning

behavior until it achieves closer harmony with the substance and

processes of the larger social system.

Before undertaking this assignment, however, there needs to be

a more solid justification that closer harmony, indeed, would be desir-

able in itself and that harmony would moderate the water management

syndrome. Proof of this hypothesis can be expected only after oper-

ational experience with it, however, experts in planning theory and

practice offer reasonable assurance. John Friedmann [1971, p. 318],

in particular, emphasizes the desirability of such harmony by calling

for the linkage of a scientific-technical intelligence to organized

societal action. This implies a more intimate linkage between knowl-

edge and the social overlayer than now exists and thus may be deceptive

in its simple wording. Even so, Friedmann's conclusion along with the

epigraph by Kenneth Boulding provided a central theme for this research.

Sections and chapters to follow thus contain organizing concepts in-

tended to enhance the establishment of a positive bond between technical

capabilities in water management and the larger social overlayer. (Here,

the use of "concepts" follows that of Coser [1956, p. 7] who reasons,

"Before the 'facts' can speak, they have to be arranged through some

conceptual scheme"; here concepts may be thought of neither as true nor

false, but as clear or unclear, useful or useless, and so on.)

A Systems Perspective

Although a rigorous "systems" language was not employed con-

sistently throughout this study, the entire problem was viewed from

a systems perspective. This represents a definite philosophical view-

point which has been outlined in Churchman's [1968] The Systems Approach

and Laszlo's [1972] The Systems View of the World.

In very general terms, a system can be defined as a set of

interrelated units engaged in some type of action. Hence, a system has

certain boundaries that distinguish it from the environment of the set

of units. Furthermore, the system engages in certain interactions with

its environment and tends to maintain itself through some kind of

equilibrating process. The system also has an internal structure which

enables it to meet stresses and to perform certain required tasks.

Using this basic definition of a system, it has been presumed,

without proof, that elements and activities in society, including water

management, can be usefully viewed as a system and that they behave as

systems. The implications of this basic presumption are not entirely

clear; however, it is clear that emphasis will change depending on

one's initial perspective. For example, a systems view gives weight

both to macro and micro phenomena and, in particular, subunit relation-

ships in terms of their effect on the functioning of the whole system.

Furthermore, interactions and processes become increasingly visible

compared to descriptions of the substance and content of various


McLoughlin and Webster [1970] provide a useful review of efforts

to develop a cohesive General Systems Theory along with a summary of

applications of the systems perspective to various fields of study.

Much of this earlier systems work is typified by von Bertalanffy [1968]

and others [Miller, 1971, 1972; Boulding, 1956, 1968] who emphasize the

parallels that exist among all levels of systems from single organisms

to total societies. Other investigators have attempted to define these

systems parallels specifically in social and political contexts [Buckley,

1967; Deutsch, 1966; Easton, 1965, 1971; Mitchell, 1967; Parsons, i'ii6;

Young, 1968]. The point to be emphasized here is the emergence of a

common mode of analysis which transcends the classical disciplines.

For example, through his far-reaching book, Environment, Power, and

Society, Odum [1971] demonstrates that concepts from General Systems

Theory can be applied to complex ecological systems including man-

nature-society. Thus, it appears reasonable to proceed here along

a systems pathway with the expectation that this perspective will

improve, in the future, as a common mode for analysis. As an aside,

however, if we include the findings of Fox [1970] and Park and Monks

[1972], who describe an inability of our legal and administrative organ-

izations to accept systems solutions (defined somewhat differently),

then our optimism must become more guarded.

The Social System

This section contains minimal concepts from other fields of

study which begin to form a link between societal action and water

management and which begin to elaborate on key "behavioral" components.

These basic social system formulations rely heavily on The Active Soci-

ety by Amitai Etzioni [1968] and the voluminous works of Talcott Parsons

interpreted by Mitchell [1967] in Sociological Analysis and Politics.

The expanded image of man draws heavily on Leo Spier's [1971] A Sug-

gested Behavioral Approach to Cost-Benefit Analysis,and Empirical Polit-

ical Theory & The Image of Man by Fred Dallmayr [1970].

Most attempts to formulate a general theory of social action

begin with a condition of social entropy in which societal units (indi-

viduals, roles, collectivities) are arranged in completely random

fashion. Economists, when studying problems of public choice, sometimes

build social systems in a Robinson Crusoe fashion beginning with a

single person then adding others one by one. However, the former

approach seems more convenient here. Thus, we begin with a condition

of complete social disorder and require that any theory explain the

existence of order and structure which we know exist. In this sense,

social structure can be defined as sets of interrelated roles, collec-

tivities, norms, and values which guide and permit certain courses of

action [Mitchell, 1967]. Roles can be thought of as expected patterns

of behavior associated with given social positions [Sarbin, 1968;

Turner, 1968]; a collectivity can be defined as a macroscopic unit with

a capacity to act by drawing on common interests and shared values

among its members [Etzioni, 1968]; values are conceptions of desirable

states of affairs that are used as criteria for choice or as justifica-

tion for behavior [Williams, 1967, 1968; Rescher, 1969b]; and, where

values are situation-free, norms represent situation-bound specifica-

tions of behavior.

Although these elements can be used at any time to characterize

structure, to this point in the analysis there exists no need for struc-

ture. This need arises once we discover or assign behavioral character-

istics to each individual. Here, it will be assumed only that man has

the capacity to act purposively, to exhibit goal-seeking behavior as

a means of satisfying his needs. (More specific assumptions or restric-

tions will be added as needed.) For the initial case of total social

entropy in which no social structure exists, an introduction of this

general pursuit of self-interests leads logically to an intensification

of inter-individual conflicts described as the Hobbesian state of nature

or the war of all against all [Parsons, 1968]. Thus, we arrive at a

condition, based only on the original assumptions, which by logic leads

naturally to all-out conflict, i.e., the Hobbesian question. This con-

dition, we know, does not exist. According to Coleman [1964a, p. 168],

"Whenever one actor's actions have consequences for another, the bases

for a social system arise." Hence, under everyday circumstances, it

becomes necessary to identify structure and the sources of social cohe-

sion. Furthermore, these structural phenomena contain certain implica-

tions for planning and decision making which should become more appar-

ent in sections to follow.

Mechanisms of Social Cohesion (Integration)

To recap, according to Parsons, simply because men differ in

their values, norms, beliefs and actions, man cannot avoid but must

confront the task of integration at the social systems level. Here,

cohesive mechanisms will refer to those characteristics of social struc-

ture which explain the maintenance of the system as stable, distinct,

and cohesive under a range of boundary conditions [Dallmayr, 1960].

Mayer [1972] has described the types of planning problems to which each

model or mechanism might apply.

Shared norms and values. Much emphasis, particularly by Parsons,

has been placed on the existence of common held values as an integrative

mechanism. According to this theoretical position, to insure stability

in a social unit each participant must be motivated to conform to ex-

pected behavior patterns. Moreover, each person undergoes an intensive

indoctrination into the social fabric by which he becomes acquainted

with role characteristics and acquires certain values. Thus, cohesion

results since behavior under various circumstances conforms to a con-

sistent, expected, set of internalized roles and values. Certain plan-

ning phenomena illustrate the effects of this mechanism. For instance,

the manner in which we address antisocial behavior reveals our sub-

conscious emphasis, in planning, on shared values. Instead of exchang-

ing certain desirable items with criminals to encourage appropriate

behavior, the penal system attempts to "rehabilitate" inmates, thereby

reintroducing common values. In the water planning area, the emergence

of clientele groups with values similar to those of construction-oriented

agencies encouraged water projects, designed on the basis of shared

values, which now are viewed with skepticism.

Exchange. This mechanism, which dominates economic theory,

focuses on the individual and his rational pursuit of self interests.

From this position, order is established because participants realize

the personal advantage to be gained through mutual exchange. That is,

competitive interaction and exchange lead to larger gains, more happi-

ness, and subsequently social integration. Voluntary actions are moti-

vated, not by compliant role-playing or shared norms, but by the returns

that one expects from others. Homans [1958, 1961], Blau [1964a], and

others [Coleman, 1964a;Meeker, 1971] have cast general social action and

cohesion in terms of exchange. Political economists, in particular,

Downs [1957] in his Economic Theory of Democracy and Buchanan and

Tullock [1962] in The Calculus of Consent, have also attempted to for-

mulate theories of political action in terms of exchange. With respect

to planning, the consequences of exchange behavior can reveal themselves

in frustrating ways. Plans are ostensibly drawn up on the basis of

collective shared goals, "the public interest," or a single objective

or objective function. However, plans find their way to implementation

through bargaining, exchange, and mutual accommodation. Thus, "the

exchange model suggests that in the absence of shared goals and values

plans should be more in the nature of negotiated commitments to act on

the part of relevant parties" [Mayer, 1972, p. 134]. The process of

standard setting in water quality management certainly conforms to this

pattern [Holden, 1966].

Conflict. Proponents of the previous sources of cohesion and

integration consider conflict to be abnormal, disruptive, and dysfunc-

tional. However, there are those who consider conflict to be a vital

integrative mechanism [Coser, 1956; Deutsch, 1971]. Conflict exists

whenever incompatible activities occur in the sense that one action

makes another action less likely or less effective. Deutsch, for

example, points out that conflict is an energizing activity which stim-

ulates interest and serves as a medium for airing problems; conflict

also serves as a mechanism for continually adjusting the balance-of-power

and establishing new equilibria; a flexible society benefits from con-

flict as the agent for modifying or revitalizing norms; external conflict

enhances internal cohesion and thus establishes firm boundaries and

incorporates structure into society. These represent just a few of the

positive benefits which conflict can provide and at the same time begin

to reshape our perspective of conflict in water planning. It could be

that, instead of avoiding conflict, our management procedures might be

designed to capitalize on its positive aspects. (An extensive liter-

ature has developed around various components of conflict, even a

Journal of Conflict Resolution.) For example, from a descriptive

position investigators have extensively studied conflict and bargaining

in behavioral and social psychological experiments. Political scien-

tists have generated a wealth of studies focusing on the power struc-

tures and interactions in community decision making. On the other hand,

assuming a normative perspective economic theory, game theory, and

others have been applied widely to suggest how bargaining and coalition

behavior should proceed under conflict situations.

Authoritarian rule. To answer the "Hobbesian question," Hobbes

himself proposed authoritarian rule as the logical integrating mechan-

ism. Less needs to be said about this device except for its implica-

tions for water management. For instance, compulsory hookups to water

and sewerage systems and the enforcement of prespecified water quality

standards can be viewed as manifestations of totalitarian perspectives.

It is not inconceivable, and often it is considered imperative, that

totalitarian perspectives be allowed to dominate our efforts to solve

environmental problems, especially for our incremental, slowly moving


Since each mechanism has its own consequences for planning and

decision making, they occupy a vital position in the set of organizing

concepts in this chapter. Moreover, the explicit identification of

these elements as part of the water management context brings forward

in a more visible fashion the implications of various planning activ-

ities. It might be possible to construct plaininz systems which specif-

ically encourage various integrative mechanisms to flourish; or at the

very least, it will now be more difficult to concentrate on a single

cohesive factor at the expense of submerging others. This short

description of integrating factors leads this analysis into an elabo-

ration on an expanded "model of man" who is presumed to occupy the

water management system.

An Expanded Model of Man

Except for the model in economics of rational, calculating,

maximizing, goal-seeking, exchange-oriented man, it is doubtful that

any other perspective of human decision behavior enters planning activ-

ities in any substantial way. Planning usually focuses on production

and efficiency and views man only as a part of the process, presuming

all along that a harmony exists between the goals of production and the

goals of man [Fromm, 1972]. This limited focus has, in its own way,

contributed to the disparity identified in the preceding chapter between

planning requirements and capabilities. According to Friedmann [1973,

p. 7], "The recovery of the good society requires the recovery of man

from utilitarian abstractions to the wholeness of the person and the

richness of interpersonal relationships" [original emphasis].

Thus, an explicitly expanded model of man is required. First,

this "behavioral" invasion will emphasize man and that planning is for

and because of people. It will automatically expose a broad range of

behavioral factors and effects that more restricted models automat-

ically suppress. It will permit the results of less behavioral analyses

to be viewed in a more revealing light. Also, it will provide a frame-

work for including, if desired, more than undimensional behavior; for

example, exchange behavior alone is unidimensional behavior.

Spier [1971] provides a more appropriate multidimensional

paradigm for human behavior, one based on the interaction between

man's needs and the resources available to satisfy these needs.

His purpose was to bring our perspectives (as planners) of man into

closer conformity with contemporary models of human personality and

behavior. Among other factors, this expanded model includes the man-

environment interaction, broader motivations for behavior, internal and

external perceptions, and, in general, a more realistic psychological

and "behavioral" perspective. An abstraction of his premises appears


(1) The central objective for man is satisfaction of needs underlying

(2) As a psychological consequence, man has the capacity for positive-
negative evaluation of this objective;

(3) Man must rely on environmental resources, whose qualities gener-
ate specific patterns of action;

(4) Based on his perceptions, man formulates specific norms and values
for appropriate courses of action;

(5) The perceived nature of need (internal factor) determines the type
of behavioral response; and

(6) The perceived resource qualities (external factor) determine
spatial and temporal variations in behavioral response.

These basic determinants can be expanded into a multidimen-

sional representation of behavior by drawing upon concepts from other

disciplines, like psychology. It will come as little surprise that this

more complete portrayal of human behavior also follows closely the

diverse mechanisms for social integration. In fact, each specific cohe-

sive mechanism represents, loosely, one component of behavior to be

expected in a more complete composite behavioral model. The parallels

in Table 2.1 emphasize the nature of these dimensions.

Economic man. This actor can be described as a goal-oriented

self-directed, calculating, maximizer. No doubt, in the business world

and other circumstances this component of human behavior often domi-

nates. It certainly represents the predominant model in planning


Social man. However, men often are motivated by factors beyond

those of pure self-interest. This may in part be a result of the

internalization of certain norms and values usually directed towards

a contributing harmony with others, family, and society. In fact,

"the maximization of approval could be viewed as the counterpart

in sociological theory to the maximization of profit in economic theory"

[Dallmayr, 1970, p. 455].

Political man. In contrast with previous components in which

power is balanced (economic) or absent (social), man continually engages

in various levels of conflict in which power becomes an actualizing

factor. In this case man becomes a power seeker and maximizer of self-

determination. Through this component man can realize his willingness-

to-pay (economic) and willingness-to-contribute (social) by supplying

power and a willingness-to-act. Hence, without explicitly introducing

political man, we lock out the very component which makes willingness-

to-pay a viable tool in certain water resources analyses.

Spier [1971] should be consulted for a more complete description

of human behavior in terms of need-resource pairs, corresponding to

each behavioral dimension. In reality, each actor combines all three




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dimensions in various proportions. For example, an industrial manager

may well be president of the local Sierra Club and member of a Board of

Commissioners. His overall behavior would reflect the nature of his

personality components, his position in the social structure, and many

other factors. "Because he is continually suspended among three dimen-

sions, he inevitably interchanges the governing values and .. devel-

ops a composite personality .. ." [Spier, 1971, p. B-682]. Thus, the

implications for planning and decision making become clearer. If plans

are formulated presuming unidimensional man or, as is often the case,

no conscious model of man at all, should we as planners be surprised

when our plans fall on disbelieving ears? It seems that if planning

procedures account for the existence of multiple components, or at

least do not unreasonably suppress a particular dimension, then our

methodologies can be considered more representative and more clearly

linked with "behavior" in the social system.

A diagram of these factors appears in Figure 2.1, which attempts

to describe this variable behavior important to water management situa-

tions. For example, any particular water program can be characterized

in terms of its three resource dimensions: material resources, subjec-

tively perceived resources, and nonmaterial resources. Each of these

resource dimensions relates itself to a particular component of behav-

ior respectively, economic man (em), social man (sm), political man (pm).

Spier feels that needs and resources, as initiating forces of behav-

ior patterns must now be treated as mutually interdependent variables

because needs are defined by resources and resources determined by

needs. Thus, resources must be disaggregated from their natural state


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according to those qualities that relate to each possible component of

action. The preceding triadic classification of man corresponds to

Spier's categories: material resources for physical needs, emphatic

resources for emotional needs, and incorporeal resources for intellec-

tual needs.

In Figure 2.1, the planning and decision climate is shown to be

defined by interactions among three functional interest groups repre-

sented by an industrialist, a preservationist, and an administrator.

Though each representative has a composite personality, each tends to

place different emphasis on-a dominant behavioral component. Further-

more, each personality component relates to its corresponding resource

group through a set of perceptions and interpretations which "give

life" to each need-resource pair. Behavior then occurs as a response

to these conditions guided by value systems associated with each person

(interest group).

Spier [1971] provides a more elaborate account of this behavioral

model which has numerous implications for the water management process.

The first flows from the fact that traditionally water projects have

been characterized primarily in terms of their material resource compo-

nent. This provides easy access for the economic man dimension of each

decision maker since this need-resource pair in complemented. Other

behavioral dimensions cannot establish the necessary interactive pairing

and are thereby reduced in potency and visibility. If planning proceeds

according to this restrictive model of behavior, then it might be no

surprise when demands for more responsiveness to other dimensions appear.

This model also suggests the possibility of an analytic formu-

lation of behavior, one that more nearly satisfies what has been learned

about actual human behavior. It suggests new data requirements draw-

ing heavily on techniques now existing and to be developed in the behav-

ioral sciences. In addition to describing and simulating behavior more

appropriately, the model also reveals the possibility of moving to new

levels of normative decision models.

However, for the present time Spier's model has a slightly

different meaning. It reveals the importance of multidimensional

behavior and places in critical perspective earlier planning efforts.

It may not be possible now to develop full-blown expanded decision

models. It may be difficult now to introduce behavioral data into the

decision process in a decisive way. But, it does seem possible to

permit a freer interplay of all dimensions during the planning process

to eliminate any unwanted systematic bias. This places a responsibil-

ity on those who recommend planning procedures for future application.

The General Theory of Action

This chapter opened with the task of establishing a more

explicit linkage between scientific intelligence and organized societal

action. But, at first glance, societal action seems to be character-

ized at the very least as complex and unpredictable, not something to

which one could effectively extend a linkage. Thus, before this task

can be accomplished, it becomes necessary to formulate a model of

societal action which imparts some order and consistency to the appar-

ent disorder. A set of organizing principles for the social overlayer

would establish a basis for the orientation of water management in much

the same way that a single jigsaw piece fits into a larger, interlock-

ing puzzle. Moreover, the lack of such a cogent frame according to

Ozbekhan [1968b, p. 49], "forces increasing numbeisof people to try to

invent, ad hoc, an orderly view by the almost frenetic exercise

of disconnected kinds of planning. .. "

For this reason, the preceding paragraphs outlined very briefly

the condition of social entropy, the mechanisms for social integration,

and an expanded model of man. With these concepts as building blocks,

it now becomes possible to establish a conceptual order in societal

action which can serve as a working base for further analysis of water

management. Several schemes could be used for this purpose, however,

because of its systems orientation, the General Theory of Action formu-

lated by Talcott Parsons serves this purpose best. Etzioni's The

Active Society will be used as the source of more detailed interpreta-

tions of the general framework since it focuses on the level of social

development called "active," corresponding to the general direction of

contemporary American Society.

The General iT;:."j of Action represents a structural-functional

approach [Flanigan and Fogelman, 1967; Holt, 1967; Mitchell, 1967]

which tries to explain the operation of a system in terms of the basic

functions which characterize the system's operation. Here, function can

be defined as any consequence of a pattern of action required for the

continued existence of the system [Dallmayr, 1970]. Thus, structural-

functional analysis includes:

(1) Determination of the unit of analysis;

(2) Identification of the conditions necessary for the unit's
persistence; and

(3) Identification of the structural arrangements through which func-
tions are performed.

Earlier paragraphs specify the social system as the basic unit

of analysis. Then, Parsons assumes that the master problem of a social

system is self-maintenance. Furthermore, in order to maintain itself,

a social system must successfully solve or successfully cope with cer-

tain fundamental, universal subproblems. Thus, given a social system

requiring order and inhabited by men with certain personalities, sev-

eral logical inferences can be drawn concerning the requirements for

system maintenance. According to Parsons [Mitchell, 1967], every social

system is confronted with (1) adapting to an environment, (2) achieving

collective goals, (3) controlling tension within the system, and

(4) integrating the actions of its members. There is no priority in

importance, and solving one problem will not completely solve another.

The first problem, adaptation, refers to the problem of provid-

ing facilities for use by the system. This function is required because

goals cannot be satisfied without resources, but resources are not use-

ful until they have been converted by facilities into useful forms.

The second problem, goal attainment, is very closely related to

the first since it includes both goal selection and the mobilization of

necessary resources. Man has the capacity for goal oriented behavior

and encounters goal conflicts which must be resolved through some form

of collective action.

Internal problems arise because the system must maintain its

major values or decision criteria in order to survive. The problem is

one of indoctrinating members with appropriate values and motivations to

maintain support and to guide their actions. Thus, the next require-

ment for pattern-maintenance or tension management involves upholding

the basic ordering principles of the system.

As the system becomes more complex the problem arises over han-

dling interpersonal difficulties and coordinating actions. Integration

refers to the control of behavior by the application of external posi-

tive and negative sanctions. Integration concerns the adjustment of

relations among units of a system, particularly with regard to the allo-

cation of advantages and disadvantages, to insure that the units will

contribute to an order desirable for the system [Parsons, 1966]. Getting

people to work together who have just competed over scarce resources,

especially when the game assumes a zero-sum quality, poses the integra-

tive problem. Even in the absence of scarcity, integration remains

a problem because of the need to coordinate men with various values,

beliefs, norms and interests.

Now, given a condition of social entropy along with these func-

tional requirements, how does structure enter the system? Parsons con-

tends that society becomes structured or differentiated around these

four universal problems. Various subsystems emerge to solve each basic

functional problem, and as societies become more advanced, one would

find increasing degrees of specialization along functional lines.

That is, social systems develop specialized means for performing each

function using as shown in Figure 2.2, a goal-attainment subsystem,

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adaptive subsystem, pattern-maintenance subsystem, and integrative

subsystem. For large social systems these subsystems become differen-

tiated and distinct. In smaller systems where face-to-face relation-

ships predominate, the subsystems become more diffuse, but the functional

problems must be met nevertheless.

Next, in order to have a complete model of social action, at

this level of generality, it becomes necessary to specify the inter-

dependencies among the four subsystems in Figure 2.2. Parsons' gen-

eral solution was to show that these functional relationships take

place through a set of boundary exchanges, or inputs and outputs, among

the various subsystems [Mitchell, 1967]. Every unit must engage in

plural interchange relations with other units in order to acquire cer-

tain essentials of functioning (factor inputs), and dispose of its

contributions to other units in this division of labor (product outputs).

This requires double interchanges between the subunits (Figure 2.2),

and it necessitates the development of generalized symbolic exchange

media--money, power, influence, and commitments [Parsons, 1966].

Referring to Figure 2.2, there are six distinct double interchanges

required for the complete integration of the four functional subsystems.

Each of these interchanges are in turn coordinated by other subsystems

which are identified in Figure 2.3. This second diagram, at this point,

serves only to establish the first-order linkages between the primary

functional subsystems.

ii components outlined in Figures 2.2 and 2.3 portray a general-

ized theory of action for any social system. Furthermore, observed

differences among social systems in real life result, not because the

general theory of action is inappropriate, but instead because various

societies approach the operation of subsystems with different emphasis.

However, the same four functional subproblems must be solved in each

case, and Parsons attempts mainly to give conceptual order to this.

He accomplishes this by relating the decisions and actions of men

engaged in their different roles [Mitchell, 1967]. In this way,

Figures 2.2 and 2.3 serve primarily as an analytical device since the

basic unit of analysis in this social system is a role not an individ-

ual person in the biological sense. Mitchell [1967] further explains

that these actions are governed by institutions and take place accord-

ing to relatively stabilized rules. Hence, one may call these actions

"processes" of decision making at both the individual and societal

levels. Such actions would include, for instance, a market, an elec-

tion, a bureaucracy, and so forth. These actions, of men engaged in

roles, then generate the double boundary exchanges which connect the

four functional subsystems. Thus, the movement of symbolic media

(arrows in Figure 2.2 and 2.3) in society results not from the applica-

tion of some "hidden hand" but rather from concrete actions of persons

acting in roles.

Before turning to the next section, it will be useful to examine

one particular double boundary exchange in more detail. In Figure 2.4,

the goal-attainment and integrative subsystems are isolated to allow

closer examination. Parsons [1966] equates the goal-attainment unit

with the more common concept of the polity which includes all action

concerned with the function of the collective pursuit of collective

goals. Integration refers to the distribution of advantages and


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disadvantages to ensure that societal units contribute to the overall

order of the system. As with other boundary interchanges, this one

includes an exchange of factors essential to the functioning of each

unit along with an exchange of products which contribute to other units

in the division of labor.

Considering the factor exchange, the polity receives interest

demands through the medium of influence (persuasion) which, through its

internal processes, are transformed into policy decisions, a form of

power. Properly framed, policy decisions obligate members of the col-

lectivity to attain goals represented, in part, by interest demands.

On the product side, members of the integrative subsystem provide sup-

port (power) in terms of votes, generalized commitments to the estab-

lished process, etc., in exchange for leadership responsibility (a form

of influence). According to Parsons this product can be interpreted as

an output of the polity in the form of leaders who take responsibility

for the implications of their decision which is in turn exchanged for


Looking at these exchanges in another way permits a preliminary

"tracking" of media as it circulates in the social system. For example,

influence flowing into the polity from the integrative subsystem is

partially returned in the form of leadership responsibility. Other

exchanges of influence also involve the adaptive and pattern-maintenance

subsystems. This, then, provides a rudimentary scheme for following the

flo:s of i single medium and, perhaps, for investigating the total bal-

ance of inflows and outflows. The same can be said for power which

originates or is anchored in the polity. Power represents a more

specific media than influence (persuasion) in that power can be

exchanged for binding obligations. With regard to Figure 2.4, power

flowing from the polity in the form of policy decisions is partially

balanced by power acquired from the integrative unit as support.

As with influence, this begins to provide a more complete representa-

tion of the ebb and flow of the various forces at work in the social


Earlier paragraphs identified the need for relating planning and

decision making activities to organized societal action through some

type of linkage or positive bond. To accomplish this, it first became

necessary to search for and identify a source of structural integrity

for the larger social system which would serve as the anchor for sub-

systems containing planning. At this level of abstraction, the General

Theory of Action now begins to establish order among the complexity and

disorder of social affairs. Given a society without structure, inhab-

ited by men engaged in roles with a capacity for goal-seeking behavior,

the emergence of social structure was explained as the attempt to solve

four functional problems. This conceptual model, therefore, has analyt-

ical and intuitive appeal and is independent of specific situations or

data requirements. Parsons has as yet not attempted to operationalize

his collection of "stocks and flows," and he may even feel that oper-

ationality has a low priority [Mitchell, 1967]. However, the primary

contribution of this general theory lies in the overall organization

which it provides. Any collection of individuals operating in roles

must, in concept, face the four functional problems, and any explanation

of their activities would be incomplete without reference to this

underlying structure. It thus becomes more difficult to focus on the

economy or the political system as isolated from the rest of society.

It becomes more difficult to analyze a particular social demand or

issue as a technical subproblem without placing the question in the

larger context of social affairs. Furthermore, the General Theory of

Action establishes the common ground from which individual water prob-

lems can be placed in more meaningful perspective.

The Water Resource Management System

The preceding discussion now provides the opportunity to relate

water management activities to the larger social system while maintain-

ing a degree of order. The fact that this exercise is meaningful has

been suggested by Vlachos [1971, p. 722], "If most of the problems

of natural resources have as their roots considerations of individual,

collective, and organizational behavior, as well as concerns of public

policy, we need to raise the central questions of how do we approach

in a theoretically integrated and methodologically consistent way the

social dimensions of natural resources." Hence, this section begins to

relate the foregoing general concepts to the specific problem at hand,

water resource management, as a means of introducing methodological

consistency in the form of, at least, a first approximation.

To accomplish this one must assume that the elements and activ-

ities which comprise water management can be perceived as a "system."

An earlier section put forth a preliminary definition of a system as a

set of interrelated units engaged in some type of action. Other char-

acteristics of a system include boundaries which separate the system

from its environment, a tendency toward self-maintenance, along with

an internal structure which allows the system to resolve stresses

placed on it. Figure 2.5 contains further characteristics which

help identify a set of interrelated units as a system. These include

the existence of inputs from an external environment which the system

can transform into outputs or effects. Also since the system is a

self-maintaining, goal-seeking arrangement of elements and activities,

some type of feedback is required whenever outputs do not meet estab-

lished goals. Without detailed elaboration here, it appears reasonable

to assume that one may talk in terms of a water resource management

system. Interrelated units certainly exist along with boundaries which

separate these units from an external environment. Specific inputs can

be identified, as well as outputs. Furthermore, the continual effort

to improve water management procedures reflects the existence of at

least minimal amounts of feedback.

From this assumption, it next becomes necessary to relate the

water resource management system to the larger social system described

earlier. As a review, a social system may be defined as consisting of

two or more persons who are engaged in a relatively persistent, pat-

terned form of interaction [Mitchell, 1962]. This provides a key to

the relationship which should exist between society and the WRM (sub)

system. But, a difficulty arises over the fact that WRM focuses on

a specific issue or problem. Should the water management problem be

viewed only as a single functional problem of social action? In this

case the WRM subsystem might be viewed as a specialized unit similar in

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nature to one of the four functional subsystems of Figure 2.2.

However, considering the definition of a social system, it appears

that water management meets the requirements and may reasonably be

viewed as a small social system in itself, not just a specialized func-

tional subunit. As it turns out, this distinction may not be serious,

however, for the remaining sections the relationship between Parsons'

social system and the WRM subsystem will follow the pattern in Figure 2.6.

From this perspective, WRM can be viewed as an overlay or extraction

from the larger social system. Implications flow immediately from this

interpretation; to name one, the WRM subsystem must solve the four func-

tional subproblems similar to society at large. Furthermore, the WRM

subsystem may, depending on its size and complexity, develop special-

ized subsystems to address the functional problems and to handle the

double boundary exchanges of symbolic media. Moreover, we now have an

analytical structure through which more detailed investigations and

analyses may be performed in a systematic fashion.

Thus, like any social system, the WRM system is structurally

composed of units and their relationships. Since the WRM system is

also a collectivity, its subunits are always "members" that may be

individuals acting in roles or subcollectivities which themselves are

ultimately reducible to individual persons in member roles [Parsons,

1966]. For analytical purposes, then, the WRM system in question

will be defined as that collection of roles involving coordinated action

directed to the attainment of the collective goals in the system. This

involves making decisions with regard to the implementation of the

collectivity's values in relation to internal and external situations.

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In this respect, the WRM system also considers relationships with

physical facilities, the natural environment, other collectivities,

and so forth.

Using this generalized definition, the WRM system can be recast

in diagrammatic form similar to Figure 2.5 which will permit more oper-

ational analyses through this type of systems-logic. For example, the

flow diagram in Figure 2.7 begins with an external environment which

establishes the context for expressed needs and the resources available

to satisfy these needs. A statement of needs and resources serves as

input to the planning and decision subsystem which transforms these

into outputs in the form of specified water related activities. These

activities, as output, include policies, programs, and facilities,

which in turn become inputs to the social and natural subsystems to

which they apply. Interactions with natural and social subsystems

transform water related activities into a statement of effects orimpacts

which measure any changes produced by water activities. Then, in terms

of system goals these effects provide a measure of overall system per-

formance, that is, how effectively (and efficiently) the system mobil-

ized resources to satisfy needs. If performance is judged to be inade-

quate, a feedback (of information, money, power, etc.) occurs to modify

components for the purpose of improving performance. If performance is

judged to be adequate, feedback occurs to prepare the system to begin

again whenever inputs require further processing. The same flow of

activities appears in Figure 2.8 which expands planning and decision

processes into two phases, plan formulation and program implementation.

By accepting these two diagrams as reasonable representations of the WRM

system numerous important observations emerge.








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