Title: An Analysis of State Water Resources Planning Processes in the United States
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Title: An Analysis of State Water Resources Planning Processes in the United States
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Language: English
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Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
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Abstract: An Analysis of State Water Resources Planning Processes in the United States
General Note: Box 7, Folder 1 ( Vail Conference 1987 - 1987 ), Item 16
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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AN ANALYSIS F STATE WAT RESOURCES PLANNING PROCESSES
AN ANALYSIS OF STATE WATER RESOURCES PLANNING PROCESSES


IN THE UNITED STATES



INTRODUCTION



This report is the third of a five-volume series dealing with
policies and procedures for addressing Florida's water and related land
resources problems. It reviews the approaches to water resources
planning and management being taken by the fifty United States, and
presents a model water resources planning strategy incorporating the
most attractive elements of these approaches. The objective is to
provide guidance for recommending possible changes in Florida's water
resources planning and management processes.



A SUMMARY OF STATE PLANNING PROCESSES



The water resources planning processes being used in the 50 states
are described. Findings are summarized in Table I in terms of the
following elements: state's water management goal; objectives; type of
planning; nature of planning process; frequency of revision; public
participation; and plan implementation. Because the materials provided
by the states did not always deal with these elements explicitly, it was
necessary to interpret the information provided in the context of the
categories reported upon. As can be seen from a review of Table I,
there is considerable variability among the states, in both the nature
of the planning process employed and in the level of effort directed
toward this mission.

The headers employed in Table I are defined in the legend which
follows the table.



A MODEL STATE PLANNING STRATEGY



Considering Florida's growth management goals, the state's history
and traditions in water resources planning, and the experiences of the
50 United States in water resources planning and management, a model
state water resources planning process is conceptualized. The
recommended process is especially suited to Florida's' division of
responsibilities at state, regional and local levels, but it could
easily be tailored to fit other institutional arrangements as well.







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TABLE I

A SUMMARY OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF STATE WATER RESOURCES
PLANNING PROCESSES 1985

Note: Column headings are explained in the legend (next page)
------- --------------------------------------------------
STATE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10. 11 12
-----------------------------------------------------
ALABAMA E C,PW Y Y N N Y Y -
ALASKA NSC Y Y Y N Y Y Y
ARIZONA E C,P P Y Y Y Y Y
ARKANSAS NS C 10Y Y N N Y Y -
CALIFORNIA I C 3YR Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y -
COLORADO E P 1YR Y Y N N Y Y Y -
CONNECTICUT E C,P 3YR Y Y N Y Y Y Y -
DELAWARE E C,P 1YR Y Y Y Y Y Y -
FLORIDA E P Y Y N Y Y Y
GEORGIA E C -Y Y Y Y Y -
HAWAII E C Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
IDAHO NS P 5YR Y N Y Y Y -
ILLINOIS E P P Y N Y Y -
INDIANA E C Y Y Y Y Y Y
IOWA E C 5YR Y N Y Y Y -
KANSAS E C 1YR Y Y Y Y Y
KENTUCKY E C P Y N Y -
LOUISIANA NS P N Y Y -
MAINE NS N Y -
MARYLAND E C SYR Y Y N Y Y Y Y
MASSACHUSETTS E C SYR Y Y Y Y Y Y Y -
MICHIGAN E C P Y Y Y Y Y Y -
MINNESOTA E C P Y Y Y Y Y
MISSISSIPPI NSC Y N Y Y -
MISSOURI E C P Y N Y Y Y -
MONTANA E C P Y Y Y Y Y Y Y -
NEBRASKA E P P Y Y Y Y Y Y Y -
NEVADA E C Y N Y Y Y -
NEW HAMPSHIRE NS P Y Y Y Y Y -
NEW JERSEY E P 6YR Y Y Y Y Y
NEW MEXICO NS C Y Y Y -
NEW YORK NS 1YR Y Y Y -
NORTH CAROLINA NS Y Y Y Y Y -
NORTH DAKOTA E C P Y Y Y Y Y -
OHIO NS C P Y Y Y Y Y -
OKLAHOMA E C IY Y Y Y -
OREGON NS C Y Y Y Y Y Y Y -
PENNSYLVANIA E C P Y Y Y Y Y -
RHODE ISLAND E PW Y Y Y Y -
SOUTH CAROLINA E C 1YR Y Y Y Y Y Y -
SOUTH DAKOTA E C,PW 1YR Y Y Y Y Y -
TENNESSEE I PW P Y Y Y -
TEXAS E C,P P Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
UTAH E C Y Y Y Y Y -
VERMONT E P Y Y Y -
VIRGINIA E C P Y Y Y Y Y Y
WASHINGTON E C P Y Y Y Y Y -
WEST VIRGINIA E Y -Y Y
WISCONSIN E C SYR Y Y Y Y -
WYOMING E PW,P P Y I Y IN Y Y -




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LEGEND FOR TABLE I

NOTE: NUMBERS REFER TO COLUMN HEADINGS IN TABLE I


1. GOAL STATEMENT Goals of .the state water planning process.
E explicitly defined, I implied, NS not stated.
2. PLANNING PROCESS C comprehensive, PW project oriented,
P policy oriented.
3. UPDATE FREQUENCY Frequency of scheduled revision in years.
P periodic.
4. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION Is this an element of the planning
process, Y (yes), N (no).
5. IMPLEMENTATION PROVISION Is there a mechanism to ensure
plan implementation, Y or N.
6. ASSESSMENT ELEMENT Is there a water resources assessment
element included in the planning process, Y or N.
7. GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT ELEMENT Is there a state groundwa-
ter management strategy, Y or N. denotes that there is
also a specific statute dealing with groundwater.' Note also
that while a Y indicates that there is a management policy,
it does not indicate that the policy is necessarily
comprehensive.
8. QUANTITY FOCUS Does the plan have a separate quantity
element, Y or N.
9. QUALITY FOCUS Is there a separate water quality plan, Y or
N.
10. COMBINED FOCUS Does the plan incorporate water quality and
water quantity jointly, Y or N.
11. REGIONAL/BASIN SUBDIVISION Does the state plan incorporate
regional or individual basin plans, Y or N.
12. CONSISTENCY REQUIREMENT Must local government and/or
regional plans be in compliance with the state water plan, Y
or N.






















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The state-level water resources planning process recommended for
Florida incorporates four major elements:

policy issue analysis and recommendations;

interagency and intergovernmental water and related
land resources coordination;

promotion of consistency in water resources planning at
state, regional and local government levels; and

establishment and clarification of water resources
planning roles among agencies and levels of government.

The objective of the recommended process is to facilitate, through
competent issue analyses, the transmittal of meaningful recommendations
to the Governor and Legislature for establishing effective water
resources management policies for Florida. These policies would
constitute the State Water Use Plan and would guide water resources
planning and management processes at all levels of government.

The components of the recommended state level policy planning
process include: identifying emerging issues; setting priorities;
examining legal-institutional frameworks; obtaining public input;
reviewing current actions, projects and programs; analyzing issues an
proposing alternatives; and making recommendations. The issue analysis
component, with its accompanying recommendations, is the heart of the
process.

The coordinating role has several components. These include:
considering regional variations in physical, social, and environmental
settings; establishing consistency criteria among water planning
agencies and levels; establishing policies for inter-WMD, inter-RPC,
RPC-WMD-local government-state agency coordination in water and related
land resources planning; and establishing policies for coordinating the
planning elements of the three-tiered process.

An explicit definition of the roles of each planning
agency/organization is essential if the process is to operate
effectively, or work at all. Without clear specification of roles,
coordination among agencies, programs, and levels of government will be
difficult, if not impossible, and the likelihood of bringing about a
truly functional multi-level planning effort will be low, at best.
Accomplishment of this task may be difficult and will likely require
some legislative action, but if it can be done, the payoff could be
enormous.

Another important aspect of the state planning process is that of
providing for consistency in planning approaches and objectives and,
more importantly, in plans developed at each of the three tiers. While
coordination can aid in bringing this about, the only way to guarantee






a^t













that consistency requirements will be met is to require, by statute,
that plans devised at the various governmental levels be consistent
internally, and externally with the state water policy plan (SWUP).

The state's water resources planning process should be centered on
providing advice and assistance to the Governor's Office and the
Legislature in order to facilitate setting and/or revising Florida's
water-oriented goals and policies. The state-level water resources
planning model (SWPM) proposed herein is ideally suited for this
function. The WMDs and the principal state water agencies would assist
the Governor's Office and the Legislature in monitoring and updating the
State Water Use Plan (SWUP) and, consistent with this activity, they
would recommend changes, when needed, in the water elements of the SCP.

The data base for recommending changes would be provided largely by
the policy assessments carried out as described earlier in this chapter,
and in detail in Chapter IV of Volume II. These assessments would
support the issue analysis process, considered to be the keystone of
state-level water policy planning. The assessments and issue analyses
would be designed to fully utilize the professional expertise available
to the state, namely that of the WMDs and state agencies.

Conceptually, the state-level water resources planning model
proposed herein is simple, but its implementation could require some
institutional changes. Furthermore, it would require the support of the
Governor's Office, the Legislature, and of the agencies and others
involved in the process. Figure 1 illustrates the manner in which the
suggested state policy planning process would relate to counterpart
processes at other levels. While this is only one of many models that
could be proposed, it was chosen because it is well suited to Florida's
three-tiered system, and it is not very kar removed from current
practices in the state. What it offers, that is currently missing, is a
tight policy' analysis mechanism, and a means to guarantee timely and
professional input to the state water policy planning process by all
concerned parties. It is a proactive process.

To facilitate the process proposed, some type of coordinating
linkage between the Governor's Office, the Legislature, and the action
agencies would be required. This linkage could be provided through:
the use of special interagency agreements; the assignment of lead agency
responsibility; the designation of an arm of the Governor, such as his
Office of Planning and Management, to act as coordinator; the
establishment of a state water policy board; or through other designs.
It would be essential, however, that the coordinating mechanism embrace
representation of all of the principal water resources interests of the
state. It should also be designed to foster objectivity and promote
imaginative planning.

The proposed policy planning process assumes responsibility for:
overseeing the policy issue analysis component of the state water
planning process; developing coordinating links and monitoring the
coordination of water resources planning and management processes;





wt











STATE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
(WATER RELATED ELEMENTS)
BROAD STATE GOALS DEFINED

COORDINATING LINKAGE

I


PLANNING


STATE WATER
Water policy


4 for all pla


POLICY ISSUE ANALYSIS TASK GROUPS
WMDs, state agencies, RPCs, local
governments and private sector re-
presentatives conduct policy analy-
ses in accordance with the policy
analysis structure presented


REGIONAL (STRATEGIC) WATER -,
MANAGEMENT PLANNING
Conducted by the WMDs and
coordinated with RPCs,
local governments, and state
agencies, and consistent
with the SWUP


I t I
WATER ELEMENTS OF LOCAL
GOVERNMENT COMPREHENSIVE
PLANS
Coordinated and consistent
with WMD strategic plans and
the SWUP


USE PLAN
guidance
nning levels



I


A MODEL STATE WATER RESOURCES PLANNING STRATEGY


POLICY
Level


WATER
State


GOVERNORS OFFICE


LEGISLATURE


FIGURE 1


o 7










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promoting consistency, among water planning agencies and levels;
developing and updating the State Water Use Plan (SWUP); and making
recommendations to the Governor and Legislature relative to Florida
water policy.

The staff work needed to analyze the policy issues and make
meaningful recommendations to the state's decision-making bodies would
be carried out largely by Policy Issue Analysis Task Groups (IAGs),
manned by state agency and WMD personnel. The IAGs would be the key
professional arms of the state water resources planning process. These
task groups would be charged with making the in-depth evaluations of the
issues that would be required to develop feasible and implementable
policy options. Reports of the IAGs would be submitted to the
Governor's Office and the Legislature for consideration and action. The
IAGs would also provide recommendations regarding their analysis of
alternatives, and those recommendations would include supporting
documentation on issues of priority, budget, political and social
acceptability, benefits and costs, and environmental and other impacts.
The IAGs would be assembled for specific issue analyses, and their
composition would reflect the expertise needed to deal with that issue.
In general, the IAGs would be staffed largely with professionals from
the WMDs and state agencies, although representatives of local
governments and RPCs might also be included. In order for the process
to be effective, the parent organizations would have to provide the time
and resources for their team members to actively participate. On the
other hand, this mechanism would ideally provide for each concerned WMD,
agency, etc., to directly and professionally influence the state policy
planning process.

The SWUP would, in the setting suggested here, become the guiding
document for action at regional and local governmental levels. It would
establish the water management policies to be implemented at these
levels and provide for coordination among the planning levels and
agencies. In addition, it would provide for a feed-forward and feed-
back process connecting all actors. This would enable each planning
level to effectively influence the policies developed at the state level
that it would later be charged with implementing.


CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS



An analysis of state water resources planning processes in the
United States reveals the following:

almost every state has an explicit goal related to
water management;

r





a __












state water resources planning processes generally fall
into the categories of: project oriented, comprehensive,
or policy oriented, with the tendency currently running
toward policy planning;

the frequency with which state plans are updated varies
from every year to indeterminate;

all states have some type of public participation element,
but only a few have developed broadly-effective approaches;

most states have addressed the issue of plan implementation,
but few have a system that guarantees that this will occur;

while all states have made use of some data base in
planning, only a handful have comprehensive, continuing
water resources assessment processes;

the urgency associated with protecting groundwater quality has
resulted in much activity by those states not having a
Groundwater policy to develop one;

all of the states are engaged in some type of water quality
planning, but not all of them are active in the quantity
area; furthermore, few states have been able to effectively
consolidate their water quantity and water quality planning
processes;

most state water resources plans are statewide in scope
without specific regional provisions, although there is-
a tendency of more states to look at sub-basins and
sub-regions in their planning processes;

very few states have addressed the issue of consistency
of water resources plans at various levels of operation,
but there are a few who have recognized the importance of
this issue.

An assessment of what constitutes a state water resources planning
process discloses that there are certain components that should be
considered. These include: assessments; issue identification and
clarification; problem identification and study design; incorporating
social and environmental goals; data compilation and analysis; priority
setting; obtaining public input; conflict identification and management;
coordination; proposing alternative futures and strategies; developing
implementation strategies; developing budgetary guidelines; developing
financing strategies; standard setting; developing management
strategies; recommendations; monitoring; and targeting revisions.

Considering Florida's growth management goals, the state's history
and traditions in water resources planning and management, and the
experiences of other states in water resources planning, a model state






______________ .2









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water resources planning process is conceptualized. The recommended
process is well suited to Florida's division of responsibilities at
state, regional, and local levels.

The recommended state-level "water resources planning process
incorporates four principal elements:

policy issue analysis and recommendations;

interagency and intergovernmental water and related
land resources coordination;

promotion of consistency in water resources planning at
state, regional and local government levels; and

establishment and clarification of water resources
planning roles among agencies and levels of government.

This process is designed to facilitate, through competent issue
analyses, the transmittal of meaningful recommendations to the Governor
and Legislature for establishing effective water resources management
policies for Florida. These policies would constitute the State Water
Use Plan and would guide water resources planning and management
processes at all levels of government.






























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