Title: The Dynamics of Water Policy
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00052726/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Dynamics of Water Policy
Alternate Title: Viessman, Warren Jr. "The Dynamics of Water Policy," AWRA Water Management in the 21st Century: A 25th University Collection of Essays.
Physical Description: 1p.
Language: English
Creator: Viessman, Warren Jr. ( Author )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
General Note: Box 5, Folder 17 ( SF REASONABLE BENEFICIAL USE ), Item 1
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00052726
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

( /-- J .The Dynamics of Water Policy

Paying for Water Management Improving State Planning/Management Capability

For too long, many Americans have believed that States are assuming increased responsibility for
water is a free good and that all are entitled to use it managing their waters, but there is a need for the fed-
for any purpose, and in any manner, at little or no eral government to help them in this endeavor.
cost. This philosophy has resulted in subsidies that Guidance on planning and management approaches,
support inefficient water uses and in neglect of infras- aid in identifying and implementing financing
structures to sustain beneficial water supplies. It has options, and technical assistance are areas in which
encouraged excessive capital outlays for both water the federal government should play a role. Again, the
supply and wastewater works and fostered planning void left by the demise of the Water Resources Council
that generates rather than manages growth. is apparent.
Programs and facilities for water management are
expensive. It is important that both the costs incurred
in exercising water management options, and the Modifying Agency Roles
benefits to be gained, and by whom, of implementing
them be clearly understood and displayed. Financing The concept of water resources development as the
options, and economic incentives and dis-incentives centerpiece for water resources planners and engi-
must be considered. Capital budgeting, user fees, util- neers has given way to one of water resources man-
ities charges, taxes, impact fees, and pricing are perti- agement. Consistent with this trend, there is an
nent tools. Furthermore, project and program urgency associated with a re-examination of the roles
evaluation should be emphasized and nontraditional of water agencies at all levels of government.
approaches to achieving water supply targets sought. Announcements in 1988 by the Bureau of
Reclamation regarding a new emphasis on water
i management exemplify an inward assessment by a
Blending Technology with Public Policy major federal water agency. But it is not enough to
suggest that changes will be made, the machinery for
The technologic capability for addressing water making them must be solidly in place and the changes
management problems is staggering. But exploitation must be more than a justification to renew funding for
of its potential is constrained by our inability to apply a well-entrenched bureaucracy. Consolidating some
it within the realities of political and social systems, agencies and/or agency functions is clearly an option
Scientific and technical understanding should be unit- worth looking at.
ed with the goals of society. The problems of society
and of technology are the same, but they cannot
always be cast in strict technologic terms. They have, Redefining Beneficial Use
for example, dimensions of uncertainty, public percep-
tion, and political sensitivity. Optimal technical Historically, the beneficial uses of water were
approaches may be, and often are, socially unaccept- mainly identified as domestic, agricultural, and
able, and compromises usually have to be struck. But industrial. But a constituency has been building for
these settlements must be based on the best technical providing water for the preservation and benefit of
understanding available. It is incumbent upon techni- fish and wildlife, protection of marshes and estuary
cians to exercise every measure available to them areas, restoration of natural systems, and for other
ensure that those making decisions fully understand environmentally-oentnted purposes. Such water uses
the consequences of their actions. This notion is espe often conflict with traditional ones and resolving
cially appropriate to problem solving in a region these conflicts is destined to become an increasingly
context. In most cases, there is no forum for making common and complex task. Furthermore, estimation
regional analyses. Accordingly, a technologic platform of the quantities of water needed for these new uses is
that can assume this function is needed. It must be not straight-forward. Scientific data are sparse for
detached and capable of objectively developing options making good determinations, and this presents spe-
for addressing issues of concern. Unfortunately, such cial problems since the quantities of water can be sub-
assessments are often beyond the capability and/or stantial. There is a need for considerable research and
willingness of existing institutions to carry out. education on this subject.

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