Title: Lessons in Water Resource and Ecosystem Regulation from Florida's Everglades and California's Bay/Delta Estuary
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Title: Lessons in Water Resource and Ecosystem Regulation from Florida's Everglades and California's Bay/Delta Estuary
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Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Lessons in Water Resource and Ecosystem Regulation from Florida's Everglades and California's Bay/Delta Estuary By: John R. Wodraska and Peter E. Von Haam
General Note: Box 8, Folder 7 ( Vail Conference, 1997 - 1997 ), Item 35
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Lessons in Water Resource and Ecosystem
Regulation from Florida's Everglades
and California's Bay/Delta Estuary


Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt stated recently that the two most
perplexing issues in water management in the United States were in Florida and
California. He was referring to environmental controversies in the Everglades in
southern Florida and California's San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin
Delta (Bay/Delta).
Two main lessons emerge from events surrounding the Everglades and the
Bay/Delta. First, regulations aimed at improving water quality and habitat are
most effective when they embody an incremental approach with frequent evalu-
ation and updates. Conversely, large-scale, irreversible, and sweeping programs
tie the hands of resource managers and prevent new programs that can elicit the
broad-based support necessary to sustain any long-term management strategy.
Second, negotiated understandings and agreements involving state and fed-
eral resource agencies and local stakeholder groups are effective ways to develop
mutually acceptable solutions. Once resolution of such complex environmental
matters becomes embroiled in litigation, it becomes extremely difficult to realize
an adequate solution.
This paper first compares the geography and history of the Everglades and
the Bay/Delta. It then examines the political and legal events surrounding the
Everglades controversy and the lessons of those events for the Bay/Delta crisis
and other resource management cases.



The Everglades and the Bay/Delta are strikingly similar in physical geogra-
phy and social importance.

Florida's Everglades

The Everglades are a wetland ecosystem significantly altered by human
development. In this ecosystem's natural state, water flowed southward from the
Kissimmee chain of lakes along the meandering Kissimmee River into Lake
Okeechobee, an expansive shallow-water lake in the south-central part of the
Florida peninsula (Figure 1). When heavy summer rains occurred, Lake Okee-
chobee flooded, and the water drained southward in a "river of grass," 50 miles
wide and 6 inches deep through the region called the Everglades. Weather-
related changes in the water level of the lake created a complex ecosystem depen-
dent on varying water flows (Mairson, 1994).
These naturally variant conditions, in part, created the need to pursue devel-
opment projects in the Everglades from the early 1900s to the 1960s. Hurricane-
induced flooding caused losses in human life and property, and extended droughts
caused overdrafting of groundwater basins that provided water for cities and
agriculture. In response, the state and federal government created an extensive
flood control and water conveyance system (Light et al., 1989). They confined
the Kissimmee River into a straight canal, diked Lake Okeechobee to prevent
flooding, and reclaimed some 6 million acres of wetlands south of the lake,
mostly for agriculture, by building canals and levees to funnel water toward the
coast. After completion of the projects, all flows into Lake Okeechobee and the
Everglades were controlled by gates and pumps. By 1953 five major canals
totaling 440 miles existed in the area. The canals took water from the marshlands
and diverted it for agricultural use or for groundwater recharge for later urban and
agricultural pumping. The fertile, dark peat soils of the Everglades are prone to
subsidence, and levees are required to protect the reclaimed land from flooding.
These projects, however, came at a high environmental cost. The reduced
and confined flows into the Everglades and the high phosphorus levels in agricul-
tural drainage degraded the natural ecosystem. Increased nutrient levels and
modified water levels caused a monoculture of cattails to overcome native saw-
grass in many areas. Water bird abundance has declined dramatically because of
diminished habitatand the effect of reduced flow on the fish populations that
provide the birds' food source (Light et al., 1989).
The importance of the Everglades in Florida's economy underscores the
importance of maintaining the ecosystem in a condition that can satisfy the com-
peting uses of its waters. Agricultural areas rely on canals for direct diversions
and for recharging groundwater. Cities also draw their water supplies from

FIGURE I The Everglades. SOURCE: South Florida Waler Management District.



aquifers fed by the canals, and the fish and wildlife of the Everglades depend on
sufficient flows to sustain their critical habitats.

The San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
Like Florida's Everglades, the Bay/Delta in California is a stressed ecosys-
tem that plays a vital role in the state's water resource and economic infrastruc-
ture (Figure 2). The Bay/Delta also is a complex water system altered signifi-
cantly by human development.
Before development the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Riv-
ers, along with numerous mountain tributaries, formed a massive inland marsh of
750,000 acres. Freshwater from upstream mixed with seawater entering with the
tides from San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Spanish explorers in the
eighteenth century described the delta as a "sea of reeds." The shallow waters,
foliage, and brackish quality of the water nurtured a rich fishery.
After the gold rush, settlers began reclamation projects to drain the marsh-
lands for farming. They built canals to divert water from the reclaimed lands and
levees to prevent flooding. By the time this massive reclamation effort was
completed in 1930, the landscape of the delta had completely changed. More
than 500,000 acres had been enveloped by 1,100 miles of levees. The sea of
reeds had become an island archipelago of some 70 islands encircled by more
than 700 miles of rivers, sloughs, and channels. Most of these islands have
supported agriculture, with corn as the most important crop, along with saf-
flower, sugar beets, alfalfa, wheat, and others. The peat soils, similar to those in
the Everglades, were susceptible to subsidence and flooding, so agriculture was
and still is a risky enterprise (Schwarz, 1991).
Conditions in the delta required development of other water projects. Salin-
ity levels in the delta historically varied greatly according to weather patterns,
and during the severe drought years of the early 1930s, salt water reached all the
way upstream to Sacramento and Stockton. Beginning in the late 1800s and
throughout this century, water projects were built to control flooding, divert
water from upstream tributaries, and export water for agricultural and urban use.
The two largest reservoirs, Oroville and Shasta, retain water throughout the year,
providing higher flows during the dry season and enabling water managers to
control salinity intrusion into the delta. The State Water Project and federal
Central Valley Project (two of the largest public works projects in the nation)
include diversion facilities in the southern end of the delta to export water south-
ward through the Delta Mendota Canal and California Aqueduct (Figure 3).
Today the Bay/Delta serves as the huh of California's water supply system.
The federal and state water projects divert water from the delta into aqueducts
that convey water southward into the San Joaquin Valley agricultural areas and
then pump it 2,000 vertical feet over the Tehachapi Mountains into the urban
communities and farms of southern California. The North Bay and South Bay


FIGURE 2 Delta waterways. SOURCE: California Department of Water Resources.

aqueducts serve urban users in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, riparian
farmers in the delta divert water for irrigation, agricultural water districts in the
Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins take water from the system, and the
City of San Francisco and East Bay Municipal Utility District (serving Oakland
and Berkeley) store and divert water upstream of the delta for urban use.
Like the Everglades, the Bay/Delta has experienced environmental problems
in recent decades. Exports from the delta and upstream diversion primarily for
agricultural use have reduced the amount of freshwater flowing through the delta
and altered flow patterns through the channels, with negative effects on fish
populations. Introduction of nonnative species, polluted agricultural runoff,
poaching, local land-use changes, and droughts also contributed to the wide-
spread decline of fish species in the Bay/Delta. The winter-run chinook salmon
and delta smelt have been listed as endangered and threatened, respectively,

168 )

FIGURE 3 Major features of state water project and Central Valley project.

under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). These listings significantly
constrain operation of the pumping facilities in the southern delta, as the pumps
must shut down for significant periods to prevent entrainment of these fish.
These periodic shutdowns have significantly decreased the reliability of supplies
from the delta, jeopardizing water plans of agencies throughout California.'
California's water supply infrastructure is the backbone of the state's
economy. Factors diminishing the reliability of the water supply, such as the
environmental problems in the Bay/Delta, threaten California's economic fu-
ture.2 Therefore, there can be no distinction between protecting the environment

and promoting California's economy in the case of the Bay/Delta. The two goals
are inextricably linked, and developing an acceptable solution to the conflict will
sustain both the resources and future economic activity.

Concerns over the ecological health of the Everglades led in 1970 to con-
gressional legislation mandating minimum flows into Everglades National Park.3
Although the park was unquestionably affected by the canals, levees, pumps, and
water control structures that regulate flows into the area, it was unusual for
Congress to micromanage such a complex ecosystem by legislatively mandating
specific flow requirements. The results of this program were clearly detrimental
to the environment. The timing and magnitude of flows were inappropriate,
exaggerating natural extremes (Light et al., 1989). The ecosystem continued to
decline, prompting an emotional public reaction that set the tone for future politi-
cal and legal developments.
In retrospect, the inflexibility and sweeping character of the congressional
requirements doomed the flow standards from the beginning. There were no
built-in mechanisms for monitoring environmental effects of the standards or for
modifying them to meet the demands of changing natural hydrologic conditions.
This omission tied the hands of resource managers in the Everglades' highly
dynamic, variable, and unpredictable ecosystem. In short, the program embodied
the characteristics of ineffective environmental regulatory schemes-rigid stan-
dards that precluded appropriate ecological decision making.

The Role of the South Florida Water Management District
In 1983 severe high-water conditions in Everglades National Park eliminated
the wading-bird nesting season, and the Everglades Research Center (part of the
National Park Service) told the South Florida Water Management District
(SFWMD) that an "ecological emergency" threatened the park. Later the Park
Service asked for a comprehensive restoration plan including changes in flow
distribution and intentional breaching of levees and filling in of canals to return
flows to the approximate levels that existed before widespread development.
The Florida legislature had expanded SFWMD's duties from traditional flood
control and water supply to include issuance of permits for certain types of water
use, surface water and stormwater management, land acquisition for riverine
habitat restoration, and water quality protection.4 This new mission made
SFWMD stewards of environmental uses, as well as water uses, and expanded its
role in resolving the Everglades crisis.
In response to its new role in the controversy, SFWMD developed a two-
pronged program to resolve the issue. The first part involved alternative dispute
resolution (ADR), an approach to consensus building that seeks to identify com-




mon ground among various parties and to build agreements based on mutual
interests. The other aspect of the program was SFWMD's iterative testing pro-
cess (ITP), a progressive approach to resource management emphasizing incre-
mental testing and evaluation of the effects of environmental regulation and
active integration of ecological forces into the regulatory decision-making pro-
cess (Light et al., 1989).

Alternative Dispute Resolution
To break the gridlock that had precluded a mutually acceptable solution,
SFWMD developed an approach involving negotiation and consensus building
among groups having historically disparate interests, such as environmentalists
and sugarcane growers. The District found that even amidst long-standing dis-
putes with deeply entrenched positions, small but meaningful steps toward col-
laborative problem solving could take place. Good-faith negotiations, in turn,
unlocked doors for much bolder and meaningful strategies based on increased
understanding and attention to safeguards (Light et al., 1989).
The District's commitment to ADR required expenditure of much energy on
outreach and required that technical findings be made available for scrutiny by
others. In the long run, this fostered greater trust and respect for the District's
abilities and intentions. For example, SFWMD avoided litigation with farmers
who, contending that the risk of flooding was too great, protested SFWMD's plan
to modify flow patterns around Everglades National Park. Using ADR methods,
the District negotiated an agreement with the farmers whereby the District oper-
ated short-term test-diversions to monitor effects on flood risk. This experience
suggests that taking small steps, such as experimental testing, can pave the way
for more ambitious future programs by minimizing the perceived risk to inter-
ested parties who might feel threatened by new and innovative approaches.

Iterative Testing Process
The District recognized that water management interventions in the Ever-
glades over the past 80 years (for both development and environmental purposes)
had been too sweeping and rigid and failed to integrate ecological processes. As
a result, these decisions contributed to the degradation of the Everglades' re-
sources. The District sought an alternative to the traditional water planning
approach, which had few built-in mechanisms for remedial action. The Ever-
glades case needed an approach to water management that fostered testing of
policies and technical measures on a scale sufficient to be highly informative,
while limiting environmental risks.
The District developed ITP as a new approach to water management (Light
et al., 1989). The key to this new approach was incremental changes followed by
systematic testing and analysis to gauge environmental responses to those



changes. This feedback would guide the next resource management decision,
permitting the modifications necessary to achieve the ecological objective. One
salient feature of this approach is the integration of ecological processes into
decision making. Making incremental changes and modifications enables scien-
tists to see how natural processes affect and react to environmental modifications.
By permitting natural response mechanisms to guide and calibrate the water
management measures in this way, latent and healthy ecological patterns can
emerge.5 Unfortunately, the District's ITP programs were not able to come into
full effect because of litigation that drastically affected the water management
process in the Everglades.

Litigation Developments
Beginning in October 1988, a major lawsuit and associated settlement nego-
tiations dominated the Everglades debate. In that month, the U.S. Justice Depart-
ment sued SFWMD to enforce state water quality standards. The Justice Depart-
ment filed suit in federal court under state law rather than federal law, because the
Federal Clean Water Act did not apply to polluted runoff from farming opera-
tions that were discharging phosphorus into the Everglades through a federal
water project facility.
The water quality standards that SFWMD was responsible for enforcing
were narrative, or nonnumeric. The law stated that concentrations of nutrients,
such as phosphorus, must cause "no imbalance in the flora or fauna" of the
region. There always had been controversy surrounding how to translate this
narrative standard into numerical ones and whether the standards were working.
After the lawsuit was initiated, Florida's new governor, Lawton Chiles, en-
tered federal court and declared, "We want to surrender. I am here. I have
brought my sword. Who do I give it to?" (Palm Beach Post, 1994). In July 1991
the state and federal governments reached a settlement agreement that included
conversion of some farmlands into marshes to filter out phosphorus and estab-
lishment of phosphorus reduction targets. The estimated cost of the program was
$465 million.
Certain aspects of the agreement embodied principles of the iterative testing
process, as discussed above. The agreement stipulated that a panel of scientists
would determine numerical interpretations of the narrative phosphorus criteria.
This interpretation would become the temporary "numerical standard." The
panel would evaluate the results and suggest adjustments based on the monitoring
data. The agreement attempted to represent the incremental, flexible, and sys-
tematic approach SFWMD had been advocating.
Again, however, litigation delayed implementation of the new approach.
Sugarcane growers challenged the legality of the agreement, contending that the
federal government was illegally interfering with the state's sovereignty over
water issues. In the summer of 1993, Secretary Babbitt announced a framework


agreement between two of the three major sugar firms regarding the allocation of
restoration costs. One of those firms broke off talks with the Interior Department
in December 1993.

Recent Developments
In May 1994 the Florida Supreme Court overturned a ballot initiative that
sought to levy a one-cent-per-pound tax on raw sugar and to use the proceeds for
an Everglades restoration trust. The court ruled that the initiative violated the
"single-subject rule" because the restoration trust would have performed func-
tions of legislative, executive, and judicial branches, in violation of the Florida
constitution. In addition, the court ruled that the title and summary of the mea-
sure were misleading.6
At the time of this writing, the Florida legislature had just passed the Ever-
glades Forever Act, a comprehensive program for restoring the Everglades eco-
system.7 While the timing of the passage of the act prevents detailed treatment
here, it is possible to summarize some of the more important provisions. The act
will generate more than $700 million over 20 years (more than $300 million from
agriculture) for various activities aimed at improving water quality and water
supply throughout the historic Everglades, including Lake Okeechobee, the agri-
cultural areas in the region, Everglades National Park, and urbanized areas of the
southeast coast.
The Everglades Forever Act seeks to improve water quality through in-
creased inflows to the "protected areas" of the Everglades, an ambitious research
and monitoring program, directions to the state Department of Environmental
Protection to establish new phosphorus criteria before the year 2003, and estab-
lishing time lines for construction of new stormwater treatment areas. The fi-
nancing for these programs will come primarily from a tax on agricultural lands
(ranging from about $25 per acre annually in 1994 to $35 in 2013) and an
increase in property taxes in the 15 counties that make up the Everglades region.?

Lessons from the Everglades Controversy
The Everglades controversy provides several lessons in the institutional as-
pects of water resource management. The unique geography of the Everglades
and its history of human modifications suggest that regulatory programs should
adopt an incremental, flexible, and monitored approach as embodied by
SFWMD's iterative testing process. The Everglades controversy also demon-
strates that ambitious negotiation programs provide the best hope for finding a
workable solution that is acceptable, at least in part, to all interests. After the
litigation process began to drive the Everglades dispute, resource managers and
others lost the ability to fashion creative solutions.


In California, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) is the
agency with primary authority over water quality and water allocation. As such,
the State Board is responsible for formulating water quality plans and for regulat-
ing rights to the use of waters of the Bay/Delta. The State Board also has the duty
to protect uses of water for agriculture, cities, and fish and wildlife.
Two key regulatory parameters for protection of the Bay/Delta's beneficial
uses are flow and salinity. The two are interrelated, because the timing and
magnitude of freshwater flows can affect salinity levels at various locations in the
Della. In 1978 the Stale Board adopted a Water Quality Control Plan as required
by the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and also adopted a water rights decision
under state law to implement the plan. The State Board's water rights decision
(Decision 1485) included flow and salinity requirements and focused regulations
solely on the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project.
As generally required by the CWA, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) reviewed the Water Quality Control Plan for approval and condi-
tioned its approval on commitments from the State Board to improve aspects of
Decision 1485 for fish and wildlife if fishery declines indicated a necessity.
When the striped bass population declined in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the
State Board took no significant actions in response to EPA's request.
The Water Quality Control Plan and Decision 1485 also received intense
scrutiny under state law in state court. The Racanelli decision in 1986 by a state
appellate court declared parts of the State Board's 1978 plan invalid, ruling
among other things, that the plan failed to consider the role of all Bay/Delta
watershed diverters, focusing instead only on the State Water Project and the
Central Valley Project.9 The State Board adopted a revised Water Quality Con-
trol Plan in 1991, but EPA disapproved it, claiming that changes made from the
1978 plan were inadequate.
In the fall of 1992, President Bush signed into law the Central Valley Project
Improvement Act, which requires a significant portion (800,000 acre-feet per
year from the project's approximate annual yield of 7 million acre-feet) of the
Central Valley Project's water supply yield to go toward fisheries restoration,
possibly including increased flows through the delta.1" The act also levies fees
on users within the project's service area, with the proceeds used to finance an
ambitious fisheries habitat restoration program.I
In response to a request from Governor Pete Wilson, the State Board in
December 1992 released draft water rights Decision 1630, which was intended to
provide "interim" standards for protcclion of the beneficial uses of the Bay/Delta,
with particular attention to fisheries protection. Draft Decision 1630, if adopted,
would have affected most Bay/Delta watershed users and included extensive flow
and salinity requirements designed to protect fish and their habitats. In a historic
shift of positions, urban water agencies throughout northern and southern Cali-


fornia supported the environmental objectives of the proposal, while suggesting
modifications in the proposed regulations. This change was significant because
prior to that time, water agencies in northern and southern California rarely
adopted the same positions on issues such as Bay/Delta standards. To the con-
trary, southern California water agencies along with San Joaquin Valley agricul-
tural water districts had traditionally fought with agencies in northern California.
Governor Wilson requested the State Board on April 1, 1993, to stop work on
draft Decision 1630, claiming that federal involvement in the Bay/Delta through
enforcement of the Endangered Species Act made state action "irrelevant."12

EPA's Proposed Standards
In response to the State Board's action on draft Decision 1630, the EPA
proposed a set of standards in January 1994, claiming federal authority under the
CWA.13 The EPA proposal contained a salinity intrusion standard mandating a
fixed number of days for meeting a 2 part-per-thousand salinity level at various
locations in the Bay/Delta estuary from February through June. EPA reached this
formula from statistical analysis of past hydrologic conditions, intending to recre-
ate conditions as they existed in the late 1960s and early 1970s (before significant
levels of State Water Project exports from the southern delta and a period that
EPA believes had good habitat conditions for fisheries).
Although generally supportive of Bay/Delta standards that are more protec-
tive of fisheries, urban water agencies in northern and southern California ob-
jected to EPA's specific proposal on several grounds: (1) the standard was
unduly rigid and failed to include mechanisms for properly responding to changes
in precipitation and runoff within the year; (2) the plan, at times, would have
placed the optimum salinity conditions for fisheries too far downstream from the
most productive habitat zones; (3) the proposal lacked mechanisms for biological
evaluation to accommodate adjustments to the standard based on measured re-
sults; and (4) legal questions existed regarding EPA's authority to adopt and
implement the type of standards proposed.
Urban agencies invested substantial resources in analyzing EPA's proposal,
and attempted to produce an alternative that could better meet environmental
objectives of the EPA proposal. As a result of extensive studies by technical
consultants and others, the urban agencies concluded that environmental objec-
tives of the proposal could be met at a lower water cost. These studies formed the
basis of an "Urban Alternative" to EPA's proposal, sponsored by a coalition of
northern and southern California urban water agencies.

"The Urban Alternative"
The alternative proposed by urban water agencies improves on EPA's pro-
posal by providing flexibility, monitoring, and a foundation for realizing long-

term solutions to the Bay/Delta problem. EPA's proposed salinity standard failed
to account adequately for changing runoff patterns within the year. In contrast,
the Urban Alternative contains a sliding-scale methodology to permit the stan-
dard to update itself periodically within the year to ensure that the regulation
responds to natural variations of hydrologic conditions. This approach is similar
to the iterative testing process in Florida in that the standard would incorporate
natural ecological functions to guide regulatory decision making.
The Urban Alternative also includes biological monitoring and evaluation,
which EPA's proposal lacked. As discussed earlier, a systematic, incremental
plan for resource management requires monitoring to gauge effects of the stan-
dard on the environment. The Urban Alternative would require extensive bio-
logical evaluation so that the standards could be updated periodically.

Long-Term Solutions
Immediate standards for the Bay/Delta are only the first step in resolving the
larger Bay/Delta issues, and the urban group advocates establishing a process for
determining these long-term solutions. The preferred approach would include
consideration of the ecosystem as a whole, using multispecies, habitat-wide ap-
proaches instead of the single-species approach under the Endangered Species
Act, which lacks flexibility and balance. Long-term analysis and solutions also
would take into account factors other than delta exports and diversions that have
contributed to fisheries declines, including drought, agricultural runoff, intro-
duced nonnative species, and poaching. Finally, an environmental decision-
making process must take place to evaluate water management alternatives to
improve methods by which water is conveyed through and diverted from the

Experiences in the Everglades have much to teach resource managers about
institutional aspects of water regulation in a complex ecosystem. Flexible and
incremental approaches are far superior to rigid regulatory schemes that too often
have prevailed. Negotiated agreements, which require creativity and scientific
determinations that the judicial system often cannot deliver, are far superior to
court battles for making resource management decisions.
These principles apply equally to the current controversy in California's
Bay/Delta. A group of urban water agencies from northern and southern Califor-
nia has proposed an approach that incorporates characteristics of effective regula-
tory processes. Because of the logical and scientific bases of this alternative and
the urban agencies' efforts to consult with political leaders and technical staff of
the regulatory agencies, there is hope that mistakes made in the Everglades will
not repeat themselves in California.





1. See "Joint Effort Holds Out Hope for California Water," Standard & Poor's Creditweek
Municipal, March 21, 1994, p. I12: "Probably the most far reaching action affecting water resources
management in California in the past decade was the listing of the winter-run Chinook Salmon and
the Delta Smelt, combined with the biological opinions that followed. The restrictions placed on
water project operations contained in the biological opinions have immediate and future conse-
quences on delta water export capability."
2. Idem: "The allocation of water supplies for consumption in California remains in gridlock as
both federal and state legislators try to achieve a workable solution to the conflicting interests in the
delta .... Problems faced by California water suppliers will have a generally negative impact on
credit quality for years to come due to the economic impact and rising costs associated with water
supply and reliability."
3. Public Law 91-28, River Basin Monetary Authorization and Miscellaneous Civil Works
Amendments, Section 2: "[Dlelivery of water from the central and southern Florida project to the
Everglades National Park shall be not less than 315,000 acre-feet annually ... or 16.5 per centum of
total deliveries from the project for all purposes including the park, whichever is less."
4. Water Resources Act of 1972, Chapter 72-299, Florida Statutes, 1972.
5. The Domenigoni Valley Reservoir Project in Southern California is another example of itera-
tive processes for environmental management. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern Califor-
nia, in conjunction with several state and federal agencies, manages a 9,000-acre ecological reserve
in conjunction with the Project. Biological managers evaluate incremental changes in habitat condi-
tions, and make adjustments to protect the ecosystem supporting sixteen species that are candidates
for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
6. In re. Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General-Save Our Everglades Trust Fund, 19
Florida Law Weekly S276, 1994.
7. Everglades Forever Act, 1994 Fla. Sess. Law Serv. 115 (West), amending Section 373.4592,
Florida Statutes.
8. Section 373.4592(6), Florida Statutes.
9. See United States v. State Water Resources Control Board, 182 Cal. App. 3d 82 (1986). The
popular name for the case derives from the appeals court jurist who wrote the opinion, Judge John T.
10. See Public Law 102-575, Title XXXIV, Section 3406(b)(2).
11. See Public Law 102-575, Title XXXIV, Section 3407(d)(2XA).
12. See letter from Governor Pete Wilson to chairman of the State Water Resources Control
Board, April 1, 1993 (Sacramento Bee, April 2, 1993).
13. Environmental Protection Agency, Proposed Rule: Water Quality Standards for Surface
Waters of the Sacramento River, San Joaquin River, and San Francisco Bay and Delta of the Stale of
California. Federal Register Vol. 59, No. 4, p. 810, January 6, 1994.

Light, S. S., J. R. Wodraska, and J. Sabina. 1989. The Southern Everglades: The Evolution of
Water Management. National Forum, the Phi Kappa Phi Journal (Winter): 1-14. Auburn
Mairson, A. 1994. The Everglades: Dying for help. National Geographic 185(4)(April):2-35.
Mayer, J. 1993. Governor backs off new rules for delta. Sacramento Bee, April 2.
Palm Beach Post. January 23, 1994. The everglades fight. p. IF.
Schwarz, J. 1991. A Water Odyssey, the Story of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern
California. Los Angeles: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Standard & Poor's Creditweek Municipal. March 21, 1994. Joint effort holds out hope for Califor-
nia water. p. 112.

Engineering Studies Based

on Ecological Criteria



Decades ago, hydropower plants were considered the most environmentally
sound means of generating electricity because they produce neither smoke nor
nuclear waste. Gradually, however, the ecological consequences of dams and
other river modifications have become appreciated. In particular, the environ-
mental impact of the Aswan Dam in Egypt raised many concerns with regard to
hydropower development. Gradually we learned the need to live in harmony
with our environment. Streams are not just conduits for supplying water for
human needs; they are also communities of species. This paper discusses the
general goal of attempts to improve the ecological properties of rivers, describes
alternative specific objectives, and reviews two cases that provide insights into
the potential for collaboration between ecologists and engineers.
The general goal for ecological development in a stream is to achieve a
sustainable condition so that human beings can live in harmony with their envi-
ronment. The World Commission on Environment and Development (known
popularly as the Brundtland Commission) defined sustainable development as
"development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the
ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (World Commission, 1987).
Many international and national organizations, including the United Nations,
UNESCO, World Bank, and the Earth Council have held meetings to discuss
various concepts of sustainable development and sustainability indicators. In
general, ecologists treat "sustainability" as preservation of the natural function
and status of the ecological system, whereas economists emphasize the mainte-
nance and improvement of human living standards as indices for sustainability.

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