Title: Institutions in Water Policy
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00003041/00001
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Title: Institutions in Water Policy
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Language: English
Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Richard Hamann's Collection - Institutions in Water Policy
General Note: Box 12, Folder 6 ( Legal, Institutional and Social Aspects of Irrigation and Drainage and Water Resources Planning and Management - 1979 ), Item 7
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Volume ID: VID00001
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Full Text


Frederic 0. Sargent and Richard F. Dworsky

The Problem

Can a rational basin plan be developed and implemented for a water-
shed that embraces several municipalities or states, or even two coun-
tries? Many solutions to this planning problem have been attempted.
Some, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Thames River Authority,
and the Ontario, Canada small watershed program, have been successful.
In others, the divergence between watersheds and political boundaries
made regional planning by a single political unit very difficult or im-
possible. Unfortunately, the projects in the United States, the United
Kingdom, and Canada that produced regional goals and plans for power
production, conservation, recreation, flood control, and navigation were
not successful in providing a general method of basin planning that
could be applied elsewhere. Proposals to copy these models in other
watersheds have usually been rejected for a number of reasons, such as:
the model was considered too centralized; it was not adequately respon-
sive to local, town, and landowner goals; or it was not effective in re-
solving conflicting interests of upstream and downstream residents.

The Lake Champlain Basin-A Case Study in Nonplanning

The Lake Champlain Basin provides an excellent illustration of the
difficulties and complexities of basinwide planning. The basin lies in
two countries (the United States and Canada), two states (Vermont and
New York), six regional planning commissions, and 45 towns (see map).
While a generally high quality environment exists, specific problems
arising from a lack of planning and coordination are notable. One ex-
ample is provided by the monument of Fryers Island Dam on the Richelieu
River, the outlet of the lake. This dam was built but never operated
because of the difficulties two nations-Canada and the United States-
had in agreeing on the desirable water level to be maintained in the
lake. Another example resulting from an absence of basinwide planning
or coordination was an interstate pollution dispute. Pollution by the
International Paper Company (IPC) in New York incited Vermont to sue the
IPC and New York State. The two states argued in the courts instead of

1Professor of Resource Economics, Department of Agricultural and
Resource Economics, Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station, University
of Vermont, and Study Manager, Lake Champlain Level B Study, Burlington,
Vt., respectively. Vt. Agr. Expt. Sta. Journal Article No. 389.
August 1978.




y ** ORt HERO
Le i***i ST ALBANS t

S.. .. TO* .*



N.. .'." Major River Basins

R *'ft^^ \


0 10 20miles ..-

Lake Champlain Drainage Basin and Principal Tributaries


working together on a basin plan to reduce pollution. On a more limited
scale, intrastate pollution problems are also present. North Hero, Ver-
mont, surrounded by Lake Champlain, has on its shores high nutrient
(i.e., polluted) waters that originate from rivers carrying untreated
sewage from foothill towns. Because of the lack of planning coordina-
tion, there is no framework for North Hero to work with adjacent towns
to study and resolve water quality problems. A report on water quality
by the New England River Basin Commission underlies the difficulties of
lake basin planning. Its quality map splits the lake down the middle,
because the states of New York and Vermont use different and noncom-
parable definitions of water quality.

As a result of an absence of basinwide coordinated planning, the
most notable problem, water quality, has been ignored in master plans at
both the town and county levels. The problem of numerous planning enti-
ties dealing with such a large and complex lake system appears to be be-
yond the concept or competence of planners of riparian towns. A survey
of the adopted plans of all towns on Lake Champlain up to 1977 indicated
that few had even mentioned Lake Champlain, and only one, Shelburne,
had proposed a specific plan for the lakeshore.

Efforts to Develop Basin Plans

Several efforts have been made to plan the Lake Champlain Basin.
In 1956, the first major effort was INCOCHAMP, the Interstate Commission
on the Lake Champlain Basin. It was established by the Vermont and New
York state legislators to provide for discussion of lake problems and
initiate planning studies. A proposed basin plan and management format
was drawn up. This plan, called "CHAMPCO," provided for three planning
and administrative government units in each of the two states: (1) a
Lake Champlain water resources commission in each state was to manage
the water resources flowing into the lake; (2) a recreation board in
each state would guide development of the lakeshore region along the
lines established by the Lake George, New York, Park Commission to pro-
duce a park-like atmosphere for the whole length of the lake; and (3) the
third group would coordinate the basin county planning organization with-
in each state and between the two states as they affected Lake Champlain.

CHAMPCO was actually adopted by both state legislatures, but not at
the same time nor in identical form. Before they could both adopt the
same version, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
sponsored regional planning developed and the volunteer-led INCOCHAMP
organization declined.

A second effort was made by the Vermont State Water Resources De-
partment, which inventoried pollution sources on the Vermont shore and
proposed methods for eliminating them. This document was actually a
water quality plan for the Vermont portion of the basin. However, the
plan had two weaknesses. It dealt with only one side of the lake and
the proposed actions were to be implemented by municipalities that were

2Shelburne Quality Environment Plan, 1973, pp. 23-26.


not directly involved in the planning process and, therefore, were not
committed to the plan.

A third effort was the HUD-sponsored formation of county and region-
al planning commissions. However, they have not been cognizant of lake
and lakeshore planning problems. They tended to react to federal in-
itiatives in planning and have developed regional plans that ignored the
lake except as a boundary.

Reasons Why Basinwide Planning Has Not Been Achieved

All of these efforts failed to produce an acceptable plan for the
comprehensive management of the Lake Champlain Basin. They failed be-
cause of the conflict of a planning assumption with a political fact.
Planners assumed that basinwide planning, to be effective, must be com-
prehensive. As such, a plan must include the whole basin under a single
plan and a single political administrative organization. This assump-
tion is an article of faith among regional and environmental planners.
However, to implement unitary comprehensive planning, it would be neces-
sary to ignore, overrule, or appropriate local town decisionmaking pow-
ers. Ignoring town level decisionmaking was accepted by planners whose
model was the successful TVA experience and planners not acquainted with
the institution of town government in the Northeast. This assumption
ran head-on into the resistance of rural towns with governments that had
no intention of relinquishing land use planning authority to a super-

The Basin Planning Experiment

During the last 2 years, there have been three concentrated, simul-
taneous efforts to plan the basin or sections thereof. This paper de-
scribes a new basin planning concept that evolved from this 2-year ex-

We undertook a comparative analysis of these three simultaneous but
independent planning studies: (1) the Level B Study by the New England
River Basin Commission (NERBC), (2) the International Champlain Richelieu
Board (ICRB) Study of lake level regulation alternatives conducted at
the request of the International Joint Commission (IJC), and (3) a Uni-
versity of Vermont experimental planning project in two lakeshore towns
(Ferrisburg and North Hero).

The NERBC Level B Study cost $750,000, took 2 years, and employed
several planners. It focused on critical basinwide problems that would
impact the basin within the next 10-25 years. This study was not de-
signed to develop a basin plan per se, but to promote and facilitate
basin planning by regional and state planners by providing a data base,
problem identification, special studies, and suggestions for further

The ICRB studies cost $2,000,000 and took 2 years. These studies
addressed the feasibility of alternative proposals to reduce flood damage
by the Richelieu River on Quebec lowlands. While the IJC studies are
not called a basin plan, the fact that they consider economic feasibility


and environmental impact as well as engineering criteria for major water
management proposals makes the series of reports tantamount to the prin-
cipal elements of a basinwide plan. The IJC studies were intended to
resolve an international dispute over the regulation of flooding on the
Richelieu River.

The University of Vermont town studies and planning took 2 years
and cost less than $1,000 in cash because they drew on available univer-
sity and government agency reports, two planning classes, three graduate
students, and a considerable amount of assistance from state agency per-
sonnel and university professors. The university town planning projects
were conducted at the request of the town planning commissions and were
designed to provide the 5-year town plan update required by Vermont
statutes with reference to Lake Champlain.

All three studies were brought to preliminary conclusions in the
form of published reports in 1977-78. The NERBC published a series of
technical reports addressed to state government and regional planning
commissions, and a final report for submission to the River Basin Com-
mission and the President and Congress. The IJC preliminary findings
were contained in reports by its Lake Champlain Board and its subcom-
mittees and consultants on benefits and costs, feasibility of alterna-
tive flood damage reduction plans, and environmental impact. The univer-
sity research project produced draft town water resource plans for
Ferrisburg and North Hero, Vermont.

These three studies, by the coincidence of their occurrence and the
fact that they were oriented toward separate planning goals by separate
organizations under separate planning authorities, provided a rare oppor-
tunity to compare and contrast basinwide planning tactics under three
distinct approaches: the NERBC basinwide planning studies, the IJC
benefit-cost and feasibility analysis, and the university separable

The simultaneous conduct of three studies inevitably led to some
confusion in the public mind. It was also confusing at times to the
researchers, but a modus operandi was worked out. The studies were kept
separate, each maintaining its own integrity.3

The three simultaneous studies also generated considerable interest,
discussion, and questioning of the basic concepts and organization of
basin planning. Participants, researchers, administrators, and students
asked and discussed several critical questions. What are the pros and
cons of "comprehensive" and "incremental" planning? What is, and should
be, the relationship between a town plan, a regional plan, and a basin
plan? What is the state's role? What contributions can federal agencies

3Dr. Sargent was Director of the university project, a member of
Net Benefit Committee of IJC Board, and contributor to the NERBC study
of agricultural viability. Mr. Dworsky participated in the Environmental
Committee of the IJC Board, managed the Level B Study, and was an in-
formal adviser to students working on the town plans.


make? How can conflicts between Vermont, New York, and Quebec be re-
solved? How can town planning be integrated with state and basin plan-
ning while maintaining local authority? These and other complex policy
and planning methodology questions were considered over coffee, in sem-
inars, and in class discussions. One result of this cerebral fermenta-
tion is this proposal of a problem/level of responsibility matrix con-
cept for river or lake basin planning.

The Matrix Approach-A New Concept of Basin Planning

A planning matrix, in this example, is made up of six separable
plans developed by three levels of government. This concept is proposed
as an alternative to "comprehensive" or "incremental" planning. Under
this concept, each town, county (regional), or state planning agency can
develop six independent sector plans without a requirement of simultan-
eous development of all plans within a political unit, nor of simultan-
eous action by other government units within the watershed.4

Each level of government would develop each of these six indepen-
dent plans commensurate with its level of responsibilities on the basis
of the public interest and public goals, and by use of the available
information. Coordination of plans among towns would be provided by re-
gional planning commissions and coordination among regions would be pro-
vided by the state.

Under this approach, any level of government could implement any
plan at any time without waiting for coordinated action by other levels
of government or for development of other plans. It is important, how-
ever, that a set of "general goals" be established to provide a frame-
work for coordination of the separate plans. A matrix representing the
public goals, plans, and levels of government in the Lake Champlain ex-
periment is presented in Table 1.

Table 1. Matrix of Separable Plans for Three Levels of Government

Levels of government

Town Region
Public goal and separable plan (Township) or county State

- Plan designation -

1. Maintenance of agriculture
and open space T-l R-l S-1
2. Wetlands protection T-2 R-2 S-2
3. Public access (recreation) T-3 R-3 S-3
4. Water quality T-4 R-4 S-4
5. Floodplain protection T-5 R-5 S-5
6. Lakeshore development T-6 R-6 S-6

The actual number of plans would vary some by local conditions.


Each cell in the matrix represents a plan that can be developed and
implemented separately by one unit of government. For instance, a town
could develop, adopt, and implement a T-2 (wetlands protection) plan be-
cause of its special interests and goals even though a neighboring town
or the county or the state was not ready to consider that subject at
that time. A county planning office could develop a floodplain protec-
tion plan (R-5) and have it ready to assist towns when their interest or
federal pressures were sufficient for them to deal with it. The state
planning office could develop a state public access plan (S-3) for the
whole basin and implement it in response to public demand, local cooper-
ation, and available funds-and so with all the cells in the matrix.

An important distinction should be made between developing a plan
and implementing it because implementation authority varies at different
levels and for various land and water use problems. In Vermont, county
planning commissions have planning authority but very little implementa-
tion authority. In New York, counties and regional planning commissions
have more authority to implement land use plans. In both states, they
can facilitate and coordinate implementation at the local level. Towns
have taxing, zoning, and planning powers and can both plan and implement
land and water use controls at the local level.

Plan Separability

The tradition and practice in planning in the past has been develop-
ment of "comprehensive" plans. This goal led to development of one plan
for one political unit or watershed in which all water and land uses and
controls were addressed. The "comprehensive" plan was then presented as
a single document to the planning commission and citizens for adoption.
It was a big pill to swallow in one gulp. Serious questions or opposi-
tion to one part of the plan could result in rejection of the whole plan.
The matrix concept is quite different. It consists of developing only
those plans for which there is a clear public goal with each plan design-
ed to be adopted and implemented without dependence on other plans.
From a management or implementation standpoint, it is useful to provide
plans of this sort since the public could coalesce around separable
issues as needed.5

Advantages of Separable Plans at Three Levels

The concept of separable plans has several advantages. It puts
pressure on the planner to make each plan satisfy two necessary condi-
tions: political acceptability and financial feasibility. He cannot
defer to the distant future or to other levels of government for imple-
mentation. The separability concept permits priority implementation of
whatever subplan appears most needed by the public. A town public access
(recreation) plan could be implemented without waiting for adoption of a
plan that included a controversial zoning proposal. A wetlands protec-
tion plan could be adopted and implemented by a town without being held

5Compare, for example, the program of Tony LeSauteur, Environmental
Protection Services, Lake Protection Program, Montreal, Quebec.


up until neighboring towns or the region took similar action. A town
plan for the undeveloped lakeshore could be adopted even though higher
levels of government were not ready to concern themselves with this

The matrix approach revitalizes the planning process because it
focuses attention, energy, and action on projects supported by public
goals instead of on controversial issues. It breaks the log-jam of the
"take it all or leave it all" requirement that invariably faced the
"comprehensive" plan. It leads to direct action on and achievement of
the public's goals of highest priority.

By breaking the planning process down into its component parts,
both horizontally and vertically, it is possible for the state university
and state and federal agencies to give technical planning assistance to
more towns at a time. By working only on the single, most urgent plan
in each town, the limited assistance available can be spread over
several times as many towns.

The separability concept has some obvious limits and some apparent
limits that dissolve under action conditions. Each level of government
must limit itself to its authorized field of responsibility and legiti-
mate interest. A town on the east shore of Lake Champlain can't very
well develop a locally implementable plan to reduce pollution if the
pollution source is another town. But, this limit is not absolute. The
town can incorporate into its plan its goal for clean water and a speci-
fic proposal to approach the regional and state planners for assistance
and action on a regional water quality plan. The role of the federal
and state agencies is not eliminated. They can and must provide policy
guidance and funds for local implementation.

The Matrix Approach for Lakeshore Towns

A demonstration of the concept of a matrix of separable plans turned
out to be the principal contribution of the university research planning
project. In the towns of Ferrisburg and North Hero, Vermont, the separ-
able planning method proved politically acceptable and economically
feasible. Each subplan was justified individually and designed to be
implemented separately. The Ferrisburg plan included specific recom-
mendations or subplans for: (1) public access, (2) agricultural lands,
(3) water quality, (4) wetlands, and (5) lakeshore development. The
North Hero plan had recommendations for: (1) water quality, (2) agri-
cultural lands, (3) public access, (4) housing, (5) islands, and (6)
economic development.

The Matrix Approach for Lakeshore Counties

The regional planning commissions in which territory these towns
were located (Addison and Franklin-Grand Isle) supported and abetted the'
town plans by providing data and coordinating their plans with other
towns and with the NERBC basin study. While these two regional planning
commissions did not attempt to develop a series of county level separ-
able plans, this possibility has been explored in a previous research


project at the university. In 1970-71, a university research project
consisted of developing a series of separable plans for Chittenden County
on Lake Champlain. The report of that project" provided separable sketch
plans for natural areas, recreation, water quality, and aesthetics. That
report has been used by the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commis-
sion as a source of data and concepts for new plans whenever public goals
required them. It was especially useful in developing the county open-
space plan.

The NERBC Role-Separable Plans at the State Level

The NERBC contributed separable technical planning reports on:
(1) islands, (2) public lakeshore access, (3) agriculture, (4) water
quality, (5) wetlands, and (6) aesthetic qualities, among others. Each
of these separable reports was needed by the State Planning Office for
inclusion in a revised State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan
(SCORP). The State Planning Office lacked funds, but by cooperating
with the NERBC study, the state was able to obtain these needed studies
at low state cost. Since these three reports were developed under the
separable concept, they were not tied to other basin plans and programs
and so could be accepted by the state planner and incorporated into the
state SCORP.

The 30 NERBC technical reports made a significant contribution to
planning at both the local and state levels. They supported and supple-
mented local planning making the Ferrisburg and North Hero plans mean-
ingful by providing the indispensable regional framework. Contributions
to regular or state planning included: (1) reports on subjects outside
the immediate responsibility of existing agencies, (2) collection of
available basin data for possible future planning and use, and (3) sug-
gestions of specific recommendations which could be included in separ-
able regional and state plans.

Table 2 represents the primary contribution and role of six parti-
cipants in this 2-year planning experiment. Only two or three of the
most important contributions are checked. Blanks indicate secondary
roles-not an absence of activity. This statement of roles is based on
the authors' judgment and interviews with participants. The point of
Table 2 is that gross duplication of activities did not occur, but rather
a pattern was provided of complementary contributions that add up to a
basis for a rational and productive framework for basin planning. This
table should be used as a basis for discussion. It suggests six plan-
ning activities that may be carried out by six contributors. It pro-
vides a basis for discussing prime and secondary roles and responsibi-
lities and suggests a format for organizing basin planning by three
levels of government.

6Lake Champlain Basin Studies, by F. 0. Sargent and 20 coauthors,


Table 2. Principal Roles of Six Participants in Lake
Studies, 1976-78

Champlain Basin


Develop data, Assist Execute
public conduct rural federal Coordi- Develop
Participant goals research towns assignment nate plans



Commission X X X

University of
Vermont X X

Town Planning
Commission X X

State agencies X X

Note: Blank spaces indicate secondary role or no activity.


The experiment indicated that both the micro (town level) and macro
(regional and state) approaches are necessary to accomplish rational
basin planning. The town planning process can develop and promote local
public goals but cannot address regional problems. The regional approach
of the counties and NERBC can address regional problems but cannot de-
velop local goals. If both approaches are conducted simultaneously,
both will benefit from and mutually support the other. Town planning can
provide a precise and democratically determined reading of public goals,
which will support basinwide planning. Local planning can address the
local interests and goals that are lost in basinwide studies and recom-
mendations. North Hero can determine if it has a public goal to develop
a public marina during the next 20 years. Ferrisburg can decide to re-
quire a minimum setback on any future lakeshore development and imple-
ment the necessary regulation without waiting for a basinwide master

Comparing the specific contributions and recommendations at each
level does not show excessive duplication but many complementary studies
and treatment of identical problems at different levels. The town plan-
ning process is better at determining local public goals and relating
them to specific sites; the basinwide study is superior in providing
baseline data and analyzing basinwide trends and recommending long-range


Major problems, such as the International Paper Company pollution
and the international problem of regulating the level of Lake Champlain,
need innovative planning and management solutions in a framework of co-
ordination rather than adjudication.

Another conclusion-not resulting from the research but confirmed
by the research-is worth noting. The most glaring omission in the many
studies is the absence of a publicly adopted Vermont sketch plan or goal
statement for the basin. Quebec has the Pluram Plan, New York has its
Adirondack State Park Plan, but Vermont has no basin plan. Neither the
Vermont State Outdoor Recreation Plan nor individual county plans ad-
dress land use sufficiently from the lake point-of-view to constitute
a state plan for the basin. The absence of an adopted state sketch plan
puts Vermont in a weak position to deal with proposed solutions to iden-
tified problems. If Vermont or New York had an adopted sketch plan pro-
viding goals and priorities for land use in the basin, it would permit
an evaluation of proposals by their effect on the adopted plan. Without
a state or basinwide sketch plan or goal statement, issues and problems
cannot be evaluated or addressed, and the individual citizen loses in
the process.

Much was learned in 2 years by many researchers and citizens as a
result of the three Lake Champlain studies. Three conclusions from this
$2,751,000 worth of reports stand out: (1) The matrix concept of separ-
able plans at three levels of government can provide solutions and faci-
litate basin planning. Various issues can be addressed separately by
various levels of government, and separate solutions can be provided.
(2) A coordinating agency is indispensable. Lack of coordination is
apparent in all areas because of the informal organizational structure.
Efficiencies can be achieved in terms of costs, manpower, and resources
with better coordination. (3) To make the matrix concept work, sketch
plans or general statements of goals are needed at all planning levels
to guide and coordinate the planning process.

Midwest Allocation of Irrigation Water: How Efficient and Equitable?
Judith A. Maxwell* and John J. Waelti**


Western states, where water always has been recognized to be in
short supply, have a long history of water allocation policies and well
developed bodies of water law. The Midwest, by contrast, has been
viewed as water rich. Water shortages have been viewed as temporary
aberrations which soon would pass. East of the 100th meridian, water
was implicitly treated as a free good, or at least, not a limiting
factor in economic development and agricultural pursuits. Irrigation
was limited largely to specialty crops and to small local areas.

Because water was not generally a limiting factor in agricultural
production, there was no anticipated irrigation development, and be-
cause water development was generally accented as a private matter,
there was no need to develop comprehensive water laws. However, with
recent increasing demands, water is coming to be recognized as scarce
in the economic sense that there are limited supplies for given uses.
As use of water for one purpose may preclude other uses, choices must
be made. When use of water for irrigation increases, there must be a
mechanism to facilitate choice if irrigation interferes with other uses.
The Upper Midwest has little history of such institutional mechanisms.
The dilemma is that to allow use of groundwater for irrigation is to
grant a significant capital asset. Yet, the future implications of
that use are uncertain. Decisions must be made with incomplete infor-
mation. It is to the institutional means of making irrigation deci-
sions that this paper is addressed. Emphasis will be on groundwater,
as the major share of supplemental irrigation in the upper midwestern
states use groundwater supplies.

Recent interest in irrigation in the upper midwest is due in Dart
to the hot drought weather of the mid-1970's. In addition to climatic
factors, the increased world demand for U.S. food and feed grains, in
the early 1970's, and rising commodity prices also had significant
effects. The direct effect was the creation of a national agricultural

SA more detailed description of permit granting processes is available
in "Policies and Procedures Used for Granting Irrigation Permits in
Selected Upper Midwestern States" by Maxwell, J.A. and Waelti, J.J.,
Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Staff Paper No.
P78-12. St. Paul, MN. August 1978.

Research Assistant, Agricultural and Applied Economics, University
of Minnesota.

** Professor, Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Minne-



policy aimed at bringing all available farm lands into their full pro-
ductive potential. The resultant economic pressures coupled with a de-
cline in cattle prices and numbers served to bring many new, marginal
acres of former hay and pasture lands into row-crop production. High
and rising production costs made it imperative for the individual farmer
to maintain high yields on all soils. Thus, a combination of concurrent
events have stimulated much interest in irrigation in the last few years
in areas previously dependent on natural rainfall. Irrigation in these
areas tends to be of a supplemental nature.

The increased demands for irrigation water have prompted some mid-
western states to require potential irrigators to apply for a permit to
irrigate. In some states application for irrigation permits in the mid
1970's have increased to five or six times their usual rate in previous
years. This rapid increase has raised serious questions, on the part of
interest groups and legislative bodies, about the feasibility of wide-
spread irrigation in the upper midwest. Few of these questions can be
adequately answered due to a lack of factual knowledge about water.
The efficiency and equity of a regulatory system is limited until it it
known how much water is available, how it is used, and what effect such
use has on supply. While this information is being systematically
gathered and collected by the upper midwestern states, all of these
states have had to make decisions about irrigation policy for which they
have been unprepared.

Alternative Institutions for Allocating
Irrigation Groundwater and How They Evolved

With accelerating demand for groundwater, many users are becoming
increasingly concerned with the status of their water rights. Tradi-
tionally, water rights laws have evolved from the precedents set by
state courts in individual cases adjudicating the rights of rival
parties. The body of laws which has developed from this process took
two different shapes which are referred to as the "riparian doctrine"
and the "appropriation doctrine." While these doctrines are easy to
understand in abstract, they are characterized by a lack of precision
Sin defining the extent of the water rights recognized under them.

This lack of certainty about water rights has led many states to
attempt to legislate particular statutory rights. Such legislation us-
ually resulted in the creation of an administrative body to define and
enforce these statutory rights. The type of administrative agency that
evolves will have a significant bearing on whether successful ground-
water management results. Credibility and consistency are particularly
I important in groundwater allocation because the resource cannot be seen
or measured by the potential user, who consequently, must rely on the
judgement of the agency in charge of water permits.

Many states have chosen a single executive agency for the adminis-
tering of an irrigation permit system. However, the policy making body
within each agency can vary widely in terms of a) the scope of their
regulatory power, b) the method by which they are chosen, and c) extent
of each member's knowledge of irrigation, hydrology, and related fields.


Besides being able to approve or reject applications for irriga-
tion permits, these agencies are usually vested with other regulatory
powers which may include:

1) the right to specify the information each applicant must provide
when seeking a permit,
2) the right to establish withdrawal rates and amounts,
3) the right to require periodic reporting on amounts of water
4) the right to establish well construction and pumping equipment
5) the right to require water measuring devices to monitor max-
imum rate of flow and total amount withdrawn,
6) the right to suspend or modify a permit,
7) the right to inspect equipment,
8) the right to license well drillers, and
9) the. right to determine priority of appropriation among users.

For selection of members of an irrigation permit system, several
methods are used. In some states, the staff members that are directly
responsible for issuing permits are hired according to their expertise
in irrigation technology and supporting fields. In contrast, some
states provide that the irrigation rights commission be chosen directly
by the electorate. A modification of this procedure allows the governor
to appoint the members from a list of possible candidates preferred by
the electorate. Finally, the governor may appoint the water commission
members without the advisement of the states' voters.

Under the last three methods it is quite possible for the permit
issuing agent to consist of some individuals who have little knowledge
of irrigation and related fields. Thus, these citizens commissions
are dependent on state and federal agencies involved in water manage-
ment to obtain the information they need to make decisions.

Some states in the upper midwest have not yet felt the necessity of
initiating a permit system to allocate groundwater for irrigation.
These states are characteristically water rich and have not yet exper-
ienced sufficient problems with competing demands for water use to
warrant the establishment of a permit system. With the supply of water
being relatively inelastic, while demand is increasing, even these
states will probably find themselves eventually developing legislation
to handle water allocation problems.

In general, a permit system serves several important purposes.
First, it establishes that water rights are in the realm of state reg-
ulation and provides for an administrative mechanism to handle water
rights problems. Secondly, water rights will be defined not by the
courts but by an agency which can develop considerable expertise in
handling water allocation problems by gathering pertinent and factual
information. Efficient and equitable allocation of groundwater to
irrigators can better be promoted by an administrative body which col-
lects and studies data on water availability and how it is affected
by various users.


Summary of the Administrative Agencies
in the Upper Midwestern States

In this section of the paper we present a brief description of the
administrative bodies that have developed in each of the upper midwest-
ern states to deal with the allocation of groundwater for agricultural

North Dakota

The administrative agency responsible for groundwater management
policy in North Dakota is the State Water Commission which includes the
Governor, the Commissioner of Agriculture, and five other members ap-
pointed by the Governor chosen from the qualified electors of the state.
The State Engineer serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Commis-
sion. The Commission is empowered to "investigate, plan, regulate,
undertake, construct, establish, maintain, control, operate, and super-
vise all works, dams, projects, public and private, which in its judge-
ment may be necessary or advisable."I

In particular, the State Engineer is responsible for making deci-
sions in regards to the allocation of groundwater for irrigation. He is
appointed by the State Water Commission according to his qualifications
which require that he be experienced in hydraulic and irrigation engin-
eering. The State Engineer is required to make hydrographic investiga-
tions of each water supply in the state with a particular emphasis on
determining the availability of water for irrigation. All irrigators
are required to have a permit and must supply information prescribed by
the State Engineer. In general, the applicant must provide information
on amount of water requested, rate of withdrawal, point of diversion,
source of supply, depth to the bottom and top of the aquifer, type of
irrigation system, estimate of time needed to complete the project, and
any additional information the State Engineer may request which may
include additional test holes and water level data.

When the State Engineer is satisfied that an application has been
properly completed, a hearing is held so that other interested parties
may give testimony on the merits of the proposed project. After the
hearing, the State Engineer determines whether or not enough water is
available so that the proposed use will not harm prior appropriations.
The facts discovered in the hearing, and groundwater availability, de-
termine whether or not the permit will be issued. If a permit is grant-
ed, the approved application becomes a Conditional Water Permit. Upon
completion of the project, the State Engineer, or his designate, in-
spects the equipment and issues a Perfected Water Permit. This permit
has no expiration date but does limit the amount of water which can be
withdrawn annually.

In areas which have undergone a significant amount of development
and where additional appropriations of water cannot be supported by
conventional analyses, the Pinder-Trescott predictive model is used to

1 Section 61-02-14 of North Dakota Water Laws (1977).


determine sustained yield and withdrawal limits.2 The State Engineer
also has the power to revoke or revise any irrigation permit. Because
of the lack of data on groundwater availability in some areas, the State
Engineer has had to hold up action on some permit requests for 2-3 years.

In determining priority among irrigators, North Dakota uses the
appropriations doctrine which establishes priority according to the
date that the State Engineer receives the properly completed applica-

While the State Water Commission can be classified as a citizens
commission, the recognized policy maker on groundwater allocation is
the State Engineer and his office. Therefore North Dakota's adminis-
trative mechanism may be defined as a single executive agency.

South Dakota

South Dakota's administrative body having responsibility for ground-
water allocation is the Water Rights Commission (WRC) which is a branch
of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Commission consists
of eight members all of whom are appointed by the Governor and approved
by the Legislature. In a public hearing, a quorum of the WRC determines
whether or not a permit should be granted by basing their decision on
recommendations made by the staff of the WRC which consists of engineers,
geologists, and hydrologists; and on the testimony of other interested
parties who may object to or favor the issuance of the permit. Three
criteria are used to determine who shall be permitted to irrigate:
a) water availability, b) project feasibility, and c) public interest.

Each potential irrigator must provide information on the amount of
water required, point of diversion, total acres to be irrigated and
their legal description, estimate of time needed to complete construc-
tion, and well specifications. The applicant must also provide the
driller's log from test drilling. Approval of the State Conservation
Commission is needed to verify that the water quality is suitable for
irrigation.' When all required information is received by the DNR, the
hearing, which is advertised in a local newspaper, is held to complete
the fact finding process.

Once an irrigator receives a "water right", he is allowed a certain
development period and then a period before which the water must be put
to "beneficial use." After this period, the WRC investigates the pro-
ject. Upon investigation, the water right holder receives a "Water
License" which is issued according to the amount of water which has been
put to beneficial use which may not exceed the amount approved by the

2 In Techniques of Water Resources Investigations of the U.S. Geolo-
gical Survey. Chapter Cl. "Finite-Difference Model for Aquifer
Simulation in Two Dimensions with Results of Numerical Experiments."
by P.C. Trescott, G.F. Pinder and S.P. Larson.


To control the withdrawal of groundwater, South Dakota has an
"Anti-mining law" which states that "the quantity of water withdrawn
annually from a ground water source, shall not exceed the quantity of
the average estimated annual recharge of water to such ground water."3
The DNR uses, as their primary hydrological information, the data ob-
tained from 850 observation wells that they monitor throughout the state.
Secondary data includes the work of the U.S. Geological Survey and the
State Geological Survey.

The WRC is empowered to suspend a permit or license for up to one
year if the terms of either are violated. The WRC also reserves the
right to restrict water withdrawals during periods of water shortage.
If water withdrawals from an aquifer are approaching the limit of aver-
age annual recharge; or are causing chronic interference among wells;
or are resulting in excessive aquifer water surface drawdown, the WRC
may establish the area as a groundwater control area. This results in
additional regulations being imposed on water withdrawals by large
capacity wells.

Of all of the upper midwestern states, the WRC of South Dakota is
the best example of a citizens commission. This body is especially
recognized for its independence from the influence of the state agen-
cies which are directly involved in irrigation and related studies.
For example, in the face of strenuous objections of other interested
parties, the WRC may grant an irrigation permit even though such action
is contrary to the recommendations of the staff engineers, geologists
and hydrologists. Whether this results in a more equitable and effi-
cient allocation of groundwater is difficult to judge.


The government agency in charge of groundwater irrigation policy
in Iowa is the Natural Resources Council (NRC). The NRC consists of
nine voting members who are appointed by the governor and anproved by
the state senate. The tenth non-voting member is the Executive Director
of the Department of Environmental Quality. The NRC chooses a Director,
a Water Commissioner, and one or more Deputy Water Commissioners.

The Water Commissioner serves in a quasi-judical capacity in the
processing of all applications for appropriations permits. He conducts
hearings on any permit application as required by state law and the
rules of the NRC. In practice, the Water Commissioner usually empowers
his Deputy Commissioners to serve as hearing officers to determine
whether or not a permit should be granted. All parties involved have
Sthe right to appeal the hearing officer's decision to the NRC within
thirty days of the determination. If appealed, the hearing process is
repeated, allowing for the addition of information not available at the
first hearing, with the NRC determining the outcome. A permit can only
be granted if it can be shown that the proposed diversion will not re-
sult in any material damage to the public interest, or to the interest
of property owners with prior or superior rights.

3 In SDCL 46-1-2 of the Water Laws of the State of South Dakota, 1072.


Any person who wishes to use groundwater for irrigation in excess
of 5,000 gallons per day is required to obtain a permit for that use.
Because of the recent controversy over groundwater irrigation, appli-
cants are now required to supply specific data about proposed irriga-
tion projects. This information includes the location of the diversion,
the number of acres to be irrigated and their legal description, the
annual amount of water requested, and the maximum withdrawal rate for a
specified period of use. Applicants are also required to provide
geological data from a well log of a test hole or existing well on or
near the property to be irrigated. In some cases, pumping tests are
required prior to the filing of a determination.

In most instances, a public hearing, as mentioned above, is held on
each application. These hearings are intended as a mechanism for the
gathering of information. The hearing officer uses the information and
other relevant technical information in forming a determination. Until
a year ago, permits were granted for a ten year period. Now a new
irrigation permit is only in effect for one year pending an adoption of
a comprehensive state water plan by the Natural Resources Council. Each
permit, for groundwater use, requires that records of actual water usage
and of water levels be kept and submitted to the council.

New legislation, in response to an increase in interest in irriga-
tion during the recent drought, has now provided that the public hear-
ing requirement may be waived for irrigation from a source which is an
alluvial aquifer of a river bordering the state if due notice to grant
the permit does not result in any objections. Such "special permit"
areas are typified by an irrigation history which indicates that there
is little likelihood that new irrigation projects will cause serious
groundwater conflicts. Irrigation withdrawals from the Dakota sandstone
aquifer are now prohibited and a similar ban is pending for the Jordan
sandstone aquifer. Legislation has also been proposed which would re-
duce the maximum amount of water which may be authorized for irrigation.

Thus groundwater allocation policies in Iowa are determined by the
NRC, while the permit system is the responsibility of the Water Com-
missioner or his designates. The NRC is another example of a citizens
commission which is affiliated with the state water planning agency but
is also empowered to act independent of state influence when hearing an
appeal of a permit determination.


In Nebraska groundwater allocation is determined by a combination
of state and local efforts. For the state as a whole, the influence
of the State Department of Water Resources (DWR) is limited to policies
concerning well registration, spacing requirements between wells (a
minimum of 600 feet between irrigation wells and a minimum of 1,000 feet
between municipal and/or industrial wells), aquifer contamination from
fertilizers and pesticides and, the transfer of groundwater to neigh-
boring states. On the local level, the Natural Resources Districts
(NRD's), whose membership is chosen by the local electorate, are respon-
-ible for the formulation and implementation of groundwater management


There are 24 such Natural Resources Districts within the state.
Each has employed a staff experienced in resource management. The NRD
staff members direct much of their attention to groundwater management
problems. Each NRD has adopted and now enforces rules and regulations
to control excessive waste water runoff from fields irrigated by ground-
water. Many NRD's also make periodic measurements of groundwater levels.

A NRD may initiate a hearing, held by the DWR, to designate a
Ground Water Control Area if sufficient information is available to
show that "there is an inadequate groundwater supply to meet present
or reasonably foreseeable needs for beneficial use of such water sup-
ply."4 The Director of the DWR makes the final determination of whether
an area will be designated a Control Area. In determining the adequacy
of the groundwater supply, the Director, through the public hearing pro-
cess, reviews the testimony of the Conservation and Survey Division of
the University of Nebraska, the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission,
and that of other interested parties. This information, as well as the
results of any investigations the Director has conducted, assist him in
making his determination. Some of the Director's considerations may
include but are not limited to the following: a) conflicts between
users which exist or are anticipated, b) economic hardships which exist
or are anticipated due to current or future groundwater shortage, or c)
other conditions that indicate the inadequacy of the groundwater supply
or that require the area be designated as a Control Area for protection
of public welfare.

Currently there exist two Ground Water Control Areas accounting
for less than one fifth of the total area of Nebraska. Another area
consisting of parts of five counties will likely be designated in the
fall of 1978. Thus, many Natural Resource Districts have no Control
Areas within their boundaries.

Once a Control Area has been established, any person desiring to
construct a well in the Control Area must apply for a permit from the
Director of the DWR. If the NRD has formulated rules and regulations
pertaining to groundwater allocation, the Director must consider these
in deciding whether to issue the permit. Since the concept and crea-
tion of Ground Water Control Areas is new to Nebraska, only one Natural
Resource District has actually established regulations for their Con-
trol Areas. Such rules and regulations must be approved by the Direc-
tor. In districts which have not yet formulated such policies the
Director is still empowered to issue or deny permits.

Permits for all new, large capacity wells expire within one year
and are conditional on any rules and regulations formulated by the dis-
trict board. Such conditions may include spacing requirements, limits
on the amount of groundwater which may be withdrawn, or may involve
rotation of use between users. The district board may even establish
a moratorium on all drilling within a Control Area.

4 In Section 46-658 of the Nebraska Ground Water Management Act of


As in most other states, an applicant for a well permit in Nebraska
must supply information on the location of the proposed well; total
acreage to be irrigated and its legal description; the diameter, depth
and capacity of the well and pump; and a log of any test hole drilled
for exploration purposes.

In summary, Nebraska's groundwater allocation policies for agricul-
tural irrigation are mainly the product of two agencies. On the state
level, the Department of Water Resources is the institutional mechan-
ism and is best typified as a single executive agency. Its Director,
who is responsible for the formulation of groundwater policies, is ap-
pointed by the Governor and is required to hold a professional engin-
eer's license and have at least five years experience in irrigation
technology and related fields. On the local level, the decision mak-
ing body is the Natural Resource District Board. Board members are
elected locally and are not required to have experience in water re-
source management.


The Division of Waters, under the Department of Natural Resources
(DNR) is responsible for determining groundwater allocation policies in
the state of Minnesota. Anyone who wishes to appropriate any waters
of the state, by an amount of 10,000 gallons per day or more or in
excess of 1 million gallons a year, must obtain a permit from the Div-
ision of Waters. The applicant has the burden of proving that the
proposed irrigation project is reasonable, practical, and will adequat-
ely protect public safety and promote public welfare.

The amount of information an applicant must provide depends on
whether the proposed irrigation project lies in a Class A or Class B
area. Class A applications are for wells located in areas where the
Division of Waters has adequate groundwater availability data. Thus
an applicant in a Class A area only needs to provide information on
means of appropriation, rate of withdrawal, estimated annual use, sched-
ule of appropriations, life expectancy of the project, method of monit-
oring withdrawals, and flow or circulation diagrams. The applicant in
the Class A area must also submit a test hole log to prove that the
proposed well will be placed in the studied aquifer, which is usually
surficial, as opposed to the deeper buried aquifer from which little
water availability data has been collected.

Class B areas are all other areas in the state and are character-
ized by a lack of adequate groundwater data. An applicant in a Class
B area must supply all of the information specified above, as well as
a separate list of all domestic wells within a 1 1/2 mile radius of the
proposed irrigation well. Certain specifications for the domestic wells
must also be included. Class B applicants also submit the results of
an aquifer test which is supervised by a DNR representative. During
the pumping test, at least one observation well shall be monitored other
than the pumping well. Proof that the quality of the water to be used
for irrigation will not harm the crops or soil to be irrigated must
also be supplied. Thus, through the permit application process, the
DNR is able to gather hydrological data for areas in which groundwater



information is inadequate.

If the Division of Waters determines that proposed soil and water
conservation measures are adequate according to the recommendations of
soil and water conservation districts; and that an adequate water supply
is available such that the proposed irrigation well will not deplete
the aquifer, then a permit for irrigation from a groundwater source will
be issued. The irrigator is responsible for neighboring domestic wells
and, if the irrigators pumping causes a domestic well to go dry, water
must be provided for those affected. For example, the irrigator may
provide for the additional drop pipe so that the temporary drawdowns
during irrigation will no longer affect the domestic well,

The permit may be cancelled at any time if the Division of Waters
deems this necessary to protect the public interest. The granting of
the permit also limits the amount of withdrawal in terms of acre feet
and millions of gallons a year. This amount varies among permits and
is dependent on crop and soil characteristics. The period of time
during which the farmer may irrigate is also specified and depends on
the crop to be irrigated. The Division of Waters also specifies the
time within which all authorized construction must be completed, or
within which actual use of the water must be made.

Permit decisions made by the Department of Natural Resources with
its Division of Waters is an example of a decision by a single executive
agency. The Director and the employees of the Division of Waters are
selected for their experience and knowledge in the field of water re-
source management. The regulatory power of the agency is over all
waters designated as state waters, and include both surface and under-
ground sources. Only domestic use for households of less than 25 per-
sons and appropriations of less than 10,000 gallons a day (or which do
not exceed one million gallons per year) are exempt from agency regula-
tion and the permit requirement.


In Wisconsin, the agency responsible for formulating policy for
groundwater allocation for agricultural irrigation is the Private Wat-
er Supply Section (PWSS) of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Under the high capacity well law, enacted in 1956, a person wishing to
construct a well or pump, with a pumping capacity either singly or com-
bined with all wells on his property of 70 gallons per minute or more,
must apply to the PWSS for approval.

In applying for approval the applicant must provide information on
current and anticipated well use on normal and on maximum days of use,
the expected duration for both rates of use, the location of the pro-
posed well and all existing wells on the applicants' property, the pro-
posed metering device, and the proposed method to determine water levels.

The PWSS uses the information provided by the applicant and the
data collected from their own investigation in determining whether or
not to approve the project. In particular, the DNR must determine the
effect of the proposed irrigation well on nearby public utility wells.
This is done through theoretical computations using the known charact-


eristics of the aquifer if such information is available. When possible,
such computations are made using U.S. Geological Survey data. However,
in many cases, such data is not available and the DNR must rely on in-
formation about the geologic formations in the area, thickness of the
geologic sections, and specific data on the capacities of wells in the

If it is found that the proposed project will reduce the supply of
water available to the nearest public utility well or wells, the PWSS
may deny the approval or limit the pumpage allowed by specifying modi-
fications in construction and operation. If multiple aquifers exist,
water must be obtained from an aquifer different from that which sup-
plies the public utility well. Any approval given is conditional on
the operator's monthly reporting of well water levels and pumpage.
This information is computerized and will provide a basis for the col-
lection of water availability data throughout the state. In all cases
the DNR reserves the right to request curtailment of pumping if actual
pumping has resulted in a reduction in well water levels in public
utility wells which is greater than that anticipated as based on the
theoretical computations.

Since late 1973 the DNR has also sought to determine the effects
of proposed high capacity wells on nearby private wells, even though
the high capacity well law does not protect private well owners. How-
ever, a recent decision by the state Supreme Court in the State vs.
Michels Pipeline Const., Inc., 63 Wis. 2d. 278(1973), does appear to
give recourse by civil action for damages.5 Thus, the DNR will inform
a recipient of a high capacity well approval that the granting of this
approval will not negate the protection to which these private well
owners are'entitled under Wisconsin Case Law, if there is evidence that
such interference to private wells can be expected.

The Department of Natural Resources, with its Private Water Supply
Section, is an example of a single executive agency. The Director of
the PWSS is hired according to his experience and knowledge in hydrology.


The Water Resources Division of the Department of Transportation
is the agency in charge of formulating water management policy in spec-
ified areas within Illinois. There is currently no statewide permit
system in existence for agricultural irrigation from a groundwater
source. All water wells are subject to certain licensing and informa-
tion requirements, none of which deal with water allocation. A permit
will be required for diversion of waters from flood plain aquifers in
the specified areas. The concern here though is for the management of
prescribed surface water levels and those directly affected by any irri-

5 This case involved a dewatering project temporarily affecting pri-
vate wells. As a result of this decision in 1973 the basic ground-
water law in Wisconsin was changed from the common law of Absolute
Ownership to one of a modified American Doctrine of Reasonable Use.


nation withdrawal from the bordering flood plain. Thus, Illinois has
no general legislation which enables state influence on groundwater
allocation. Any conflict in groundwater use is settled by the state
courts which favor the "riparian doctrine" of reasonable use.

Illinois does have adequate groundwater data which is collected
by the State Water Survey which conducts pumping tests and operates
observation wells throughout the state.

The Department of Transportation, Water Resource Division in Ill-
inois is an example of a single administrative agency. The department
head, designated as the Secretary, is appointed by the governor and
approved by the state senate. The division director is appointed by
the Secretary for his qualifications and experience in water resource


Water policy in the state of Indiana is currently the realm of the
Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Like Illinois, Indiana does not
have any laws or policies governing groundwater diversion for irrigation,
even though permits are required for irrigators who wish to divert sur-
face waters from a stream or lake which is considered to be navigable
under either state or federal law. There are only eleven such permits
in force within the state.

Indiana, like other states, has become increasingly aware of com-
peting demands upon its water resources. In 1977, the Governor's Wat-
er Resources Study Commission was created to develop an integrated sys-
tem of policy, law, programs and institutions to provide a framework
by which the DNR can meet public and private water needs in a more time-
ly and equitable fashion. Policies on agricultural irrigation will form
an important part of this study. The DNR is best classified as a single
executive agency.

Analysis of Institutional Mechanisms


There are'3 broad sets of criteria which one might use to com-are
institutional arrangements for allocating irrigation water. These in-
clude economic efficiency, equity, and administrative considerations.

Economic Efficiency -- Economic efficiency refers to maximizing
over time the present value of increased product from water use.
Specifically, this involves estimating the increased net product from
irrigation, attaching values to it, and discounting these benefits back
to the project. While conceptually this is straight forward, the pro-
cess is somewhat difficult in practice because of possible uncertainty
of water yield, future technologies, prices of inputs and products,
and selection of the appropriate discount rate.

Economic efficiency, historically, has been a major objective in
water planning. In recent years, other objectives such as regional
development and environmental quality have received more consideration.


In a broader context, efficiency can be thought of as attainment of some
optimal combination of broad objectives such as national income, en-
vironmental quality, and regional development. Appropriate institution-
al mechanisms will take into account efficiency of water use in attain-
ing these broad objectives.

In the process of attaining a higher level of economic efficiency,
there may be external effects. For example, gains in production may be
at the expense of the water supply of someone else. It is important
that these external effects be included as part of the economic effic-
iency calculations.

Equity -- Equity considerations of irrigation decisions involve
"justice" or "fairness" to individuals or economic units affected by
irrigation decisions. For example, irrigation may interfere with mun-
icipal water supplies, with neighboring domestic wells, or with other
irrigators. Such externalities should not necessarily be avoided, as
the increased welfare from irrigation may override the negative effects
to damaged parties. Justice demands that the damaged parties be com-

In the decision making process for irrigation, there should at
least be means of ascertaining the external effects. Ideally, it would
be desirable to know who the damaged parties are, and the extent of
possible damages which might be expected.

Another aspect of equity, broader in scope, involves equity be-
tween uses, such as environmental quality. This aspect is difficult to
consider as environmental damage may be spread among many individuals,
and there may be no spokesmen for this purpose. An "ideal" mechanism
would take into account these other potential effects.

Administrative Considerations -- This broad class of criteria
would include various administrative considerations. Of particular im-
portance is an agency's ability to facilitate the permit application
process. Ideally, there should be time to gather, assimilate, and
assess the necessary information on efficiency and equity. As informa-
tion can never be total and complete, a compromise must be drawn be-
tween assessing the permit, and rendering a decision to the applicant.

Along these same lines, there should be provisions in the process
for "facilitating learning" by the permit granting institutions. This
would include provisions in the procedure for increasing the informa-
tion base to the agency, and for assimilating information and applying
it to present and future decisions.

An ideal system would be oriented toward avoiding crisis. That
is, a forward looking system would attempt to prevent serious problems
from arising and to avoid situations where decisions would be made in
the heat of controversy. Decisions made by rational, established pro-
cesses, incorporating the maximum amount of reliable information, are
far more likely to lead to efficient use than are decisions made through
costly and lengthy court procedures.


Comparison with Criteria

Economic Efficiency -- The states which have groundwater irrigation
permit systems seem to have several common features, even though there
are many differences. To assure economic efficiency in water appropria-
tions, several policies, institutions, and attitudes have evolved in
some of the upper midwestern states. One such policy, particularly for
those states subscribing to the "appropriations doctrine", provides for
the revocation of a water permit if the water allocated is not Dut to
beneficial use. For example, in North Dakota, the State Engineer may
declare that a water right or permit be forfeited if an appropriator
fails to apply water to the beneficial use cited in his permit for three
successive years, unless such failure is the result of unavailability
of water, a justifiable inability to complete the project, or other good
and sufficient cause. Thus, in states such as North Dakota, the specu-
lative aspect of obtaining a permit to appropriate water is essentially

While the economics and feasibility or irrigation will generally
have to be determined by the farm operators in question, some states
have policies to aid the farmer in making his decision. In Minnesota,
farmers, wishing to irrigate in areas with inadequate groundwater data,
are required to submit the results of a pumping test supervised by a
DNR representative. During the pumping test, the water level is mon-
itored in a nearby observation well. The purpose of the test is to
assure the farmer and the DNR that the required water is available be-
fore further capital expenditures are incurred. In this way unfeasible
irrigation projects can be avoided.

Also, since "on farm" irrigation works are such large capital in-
vestments, most states have attempted to provide the farmer with some
reassurance that he will be able to appropriate waters in the amount and
over the time period needed to amortize the project. Even though the
conditions of a permit may be revised, most state agencies will only
intervene when conflicts among users or aquifer depletions are evident.
In Nebraska, special groundwater control areas may be established to
protect the dwindling resource. In contrast, Iowa has instituted a
special permit system to simplify groundwater allocation in areas along
rivers bordering the state which are historically water rich. It ap-
pears that most of the upper midwestern states try to be as pragmatic
as possible in administering groundwater policies and will foster the
autonomy of the individual farmer when the situation allows.

An example of a practice which does not favor economic efficiency
is South Dakota's "Anti-mining law" which states that the quantity of
groundwater withdrawn annually must not exceed the quantity of average
annual recharge of water to such groundwater source. It is not at all
clear that abiding by "safe yield" is a socially or economically de-
sirable policy. The values gained through the mining of groundwater
may exceed the benefits of maintaining a sustained yield. An optimal
solution is obtained when pumping in the future is pushed to the point-
where marginal benefits equal unit pumping costs plus the value foregone
due to stock drawdown. So, in cases where recharge occurs mining may
be supported for many years before the optimal pumping rate falls to


the rate of recharge.6

Another policy which results in a less than desirable allocation
of groundwater is that which protects other users by eliminating any
project which may lead to conflicts among users. Minnesota is one of
the states which provides for a mechanism to compensate those injured
by a new irrigation project. Irrigators may withdraw water according
to permit limitations so long as they can assure their neighbors of an
adequate water supply. A typical solution is to provide additional
drop pipe for any neighboring wells which are affected adversely by
irrigation withdrawals.

Another source of inefficiency in state groundwater policy would
be the absence of provisions to facilitate the transfer of groundwater
allocations to more desirable and efficient uses. Many states estab-
lish priority among different types of users but these ordering systems
may be too inadequate or archaic in view of current demands on ground-
water. Iowa's recently initiated policy to eliminate withdrawals from
the Dakota sandstone aquifer is an attempt to assure the citizens of
the state of an uncontaminated supply of drinking water for the future.
While this policy is a good example of a future oriented attitude to
avoid crises it may also result in inflexibility in changing allocation
patterns if other important uses become dependent on the same ground-
water source.

Equity -- The greatest similarities among the permit granting
states seem to be with respect to policies concerning equity. Almost
all of the states provide that even the initial determination on the
permits be based on the information presented in a public hearing. Ty-
pically, such a public hearing provides for an information-gathering
process in which all interested parties have a voice. Hydrologists and
geologists make recommendations and other parties, particularly those
that perceive that they may be adversely affected by the proposed pro-
ject, also give testimony. There does exist pronounced differences in
who actually conducts the hearing. In South Dakota, the permit decision
is made by the Water Rights Commission which consists of eight lay-per-
sons appointed by the governor. North Dakota, on the other hand, pro-
vides that the State Engineer determine the merits of permit issuance.

Similarly, most of the states provide for an appeal process so that
parties who object to the initial determination can contest the outcome.
Some states, such as Wisconsin, an appeal is aired through the office
of State Hearing Examiners, a subsection of the DNR. Other states, such
as Iowa, provide for an appeal process through the State court system.

Most of the permit issuing states also attempt to provide some
mechanism to protect other users from the effects of nearby high cap-

6 An interesting example of such a situation is the subject of Ronald
G. Cummings' water management study Interbasis Water Transfers: A
Case Study in Mexico. 1974.


city wells. In particular, several states have established priority
among water users when the water supply is insufficient to suoply all
applicants. For example, North Dakota directs the State Engineer to
adhere to the following order of priority 1) domestic use; 2) mun-
icipal use; 3) livestock use; 4) irrigation use; 5) industrial use; and
6) fish, wildlife, and other outdoor recreational uses. In Minnesota,
a high capacity well owner is responsible for neighboring domestic wells
and, if his pumping causes a domestic well to go dry, he must provide
his neighbor with water.

Administrative Considerations -- Administrative considerations are
also important criteria in evaluating the effectiveness of each states'
permit granting institutions. One such consideration would be the means
by which the state water agency may expedite the permit issuing process.
There must be time to gather, assimilate, and assess the necessary in-
formation on efficiency and equity. As information can never be total
and complete, a compromise must be drawn between assessing the permit,
and rendering a decision to the applicant. Some states, such as South
Dakota, have an extensive state groundwater monitoring system which con-
sists of 850 observation wells. In other states, such as Minnesota, the
primary hydrological data source is the work of the U.S. Geological Sur-
vey. Applicants from these Class A areas provide minimal information
compared with that which must be provided by applicants in Class B areas
for which little U.S.G.S. data exists. Thus, Minnesota is one of sev-
eral states which requires the applicant to provide hydrological data
which can be added to the states' information base. This provides that
some of the cost of hydrological data collection be borne by the recip-
ient and benefactor of the groundwater resource. Many states also re-
quire annual reporting of water appropriations which further facilitates
the fact finding process needed to determine the effects of such use on
the water supply. This information is an aid in specifying the condi-
tions of a permit which includes the determination of withdrawal limits.

All of the permit granting states surveyed have some guidelines for
dealing with, avoiding, and easing the effects of a water shortage cri-
sis. All of the permit issuing agencies reserve the right to revise or
revoke any water appropriations permit. Some states, such as Nebraska,
have guidelines for designating special groundwater control areas. Such
control areas are governed by locally elected lay persons in the form of
a Natural Resources District Board. This board is responsible for for-
mulating rules and regulations to ensure the conservation of groundwater
within the control area. Such local resource shepardship may be pre-
ferred to absolute state control when the problems of conflicting uses
confront irrigators and other users.

Thus, many of the upper midwestern states have attempted to meet
the challenge of providing for equitable and efficient use of ground-
water. All of the water resources management institutions have felt
the pressures of the ever increasing demand for water supplies. Sev-
eral state water officials have commented that they hope the next few
years are rainy so that they have the time they need to formulate
sensible groundwater allocation policies without having to frustrate
farmers by withholding permits in areas where they have too little in-
formation on water availability.

Historical Development of Irrigation

When mants demands for food and fiber have exceeded his capacity
to produce, he has turned to irrigation in an effort to continue his
civilization. Irrigation is fostered in an environment of scarcity,
created by over-population or by shifts in climate (Kappel, 1974).
Throughout history, many societies have used irrigation to establish
and promote a flourishing culture. Mesipotania was one of the earliest
societies to be irrigated, using waters of the Tigris and the Euphrates.
Numerous other ancient societies in China, Peru and the Southwestern
United States developed large scale irrigation system (Cantor, 1967).
Before Christ was born, the Indians of the Salt River Valley of Arizona
irrigated an estimated 250,000 acres, using more than 1,000 miles of
canals and ditches. By comparison, Wisconsin, with an estimated 1.5
million acres of irrigable soils, irrigated about 260,000 acres in

Accompanying irrigation are a set of institutions which allocate
and regulate the use of water. Although anthropologists are undecided
as to which precedes the other, irrigation or institutions, there is
little doubt that irrigation impacts on the culture of the society
(Thomas, 1970). There is also little doubt that a viable thydraulict
culture develops a set of institutions, often unique in history, to
deal with groundwater control and allocation. A written code of Bably-
onian water laws has been found which dates back to 2500 B.C. In the
18001s modern irrigation in the United States was founded by the Mormons
in Utah under harsh conditions and severe food shortages engendered
by an arid land. In the course of development of irrigation a series
of water laws were formulated which varied considerable from those which
arose out of traditional English Law (Mead, 1903).

Thus, traditionally as food and fiber become scarce, pressure to
shift to an irrigated culture was generated. However, most irrigation
in the United States is advanced by economic and political pressures,
not chronic, widespread food shortages. It is indeed ironic, that in
times of domestic over production of food in the United States,
irrigation is rapidly expanding. The past development of irrigation
in the United States has been generated by a complex economy and
political system which has been developed in the U.S. requiring large
quantities of Federal State funds to construct the vast physical in-
ftastructure associated with irrigation and particularly surface irri-
gation: dams, canals, drainage, roads and power sources, a favorable
economic environment and the transfer of technology. Massive Federal
funding has been required for development because of the massive scale
and the irrelatively long payback periods.

1 Assistant Professor, Dept. of Agricultural Economics, Univ. of Wis.,
Madison, WI
Aspocia e Professor, Dept. of Agricultural Egnineering,
Univ. o Wis., Madison, WI



and the irrelatively long payback periods.

Problems in the Future Development of Irrigation in the U.S.

Since large expenses of arid, irrigable soils and large volumes
of available surface water are no longer available, an entirely differ-
ent type of irrigation has emerged, based on sprinkler systems and deep
wells. Development has taken place at fantastic rates, particularly
in the Plains and arid states, and is moving into the humid Midwest,
once considered marginal to irrigation. As water resources become more
scarce, further growth in irrigation will favor the humid regions because
of their comparative abundance of groundwater. If reasonable care is
exercised, groundwater is not likely to be mined and thus, can be con-
sidered a renewable resource.

Associated with deep well, sprinkler irrigation is a cost structure
which differs considerably from surface irrigation using surface waters.
The basic land unit of development associated with deep well irrigation
is the quarter section, each unit being more or less independent of
the others. Because of the smaller basic units of development, massive
Federal aid and direction is not needed and the necessary investments,
although sizeable, can be generated almost entirely by private sources.

The Impact of Institutions on Irrigation Decisionmaking

In the following paper, the need for irrigation is developed first.
Assuming that irrigation may be needed, the institutions encountered
in becoming an irrigator and their impact on the decisionmaking process
are discussed.

Sprinkler irrigation with groundwater interacts with a somewhat
different set of institutions than does irrigation based on diversion
of surface waters. Although some of these institutions are in place,
others are being created or modified to cope with a very intensive
resource-using agriculture. Based on the humid Midwest experience,
the decisionmaking environment is developed.

The decisionmaking process in the development of irrigation is
initiated by a perception of need. The percieved strength and urgency
of this need may propel the potential irrigator into a decisionmaking
process incorporating three sequential primary decision nodes. Simply
states, these decisions can be reduced to three basic questions:

1. Can I irrigate?
2. Is it economically feasible to irrigate?
3. Is it financially feasible to irrigation?

The Need for Irrigation

A very severe drought on fine-textured soils (silt and clay loams)
is rare in the humid region. By comparison, substantial yield re-
ductions are incurred every year on sandy soils. When shallow-rooted
crops such as potatoes are considered, a drought occurs during some
period, every year. Thus, it is no wonder that Wisconsin potato growers


have turned to irrigation to ensure production stability and yield

In contrast to the arid regions, water use in the humid Midwest
is inherently more efficient, because the climate does not exert a large
water demand. Efficiency as measured by yield per inch of evapo-
transpitation is considerably greater in the arid regions because of
greater amounts of solar radiation and advected heat.

Evidence of the potential efficiency of water use in the humid
Midwest can be found from the experimental trials of corn in Wis-
consin and Missouri. The University of Wisconsin Experimental Farm
at. Hancock is typical of many of the sandy soils of the 'Golden Sands'
region of Wisconsin and areas in the Midwest. Dr. Champ Tanner reports
that during a high evapotranspiration year, nine separate drought
periods are experienced at the Hancock Station. Although these periods
may be relatively short, they are severe. In one test at the Hancock
Station, irrigation during one short period, increased corn yields at
a rate of 27 bushels per inch of water applied. Missouri researchers
have reported similar results: two one-inch irrigations, applied
during the crucial portion of the corn growth period, generated yield
increases of 75 bushels per acre over the unirrigated corn. It must
be remembered, however, that these do represent exceptional responses
and that it is the total response which is important.

Most farmers base the assessment of irrigation on comparisons
(1) between the average yields on their soils and the average yields
on the best soils or (2) between their average yeild and highest
yields. University of Wisconsin extension workers have developed an
index, Crop Carrying Capacity (CCC), which incorporates three vari-
ables: evapotranspiration, usable soil moisture holding capacity,
and effective crop rooting depth. The OCC index refers to the number
of days without supplemental water, that a fully charged soil can provide
moisture to a growing crop, without inducing moisture stress and
the corresponding yield reductions. For potato production on sandy
soils, the CCC is about 3 days. Thus, at the height of the irrigation
season, potatoes require one-half inch of supplemental water every
three days. By comparison, a fully charged silt loam can support
normal corn growth 16 to 20 days without additional precipitation.
Irrigation could provide some benefit for an combination of crop and
soils conditions where the CCC index is less than fourteen days.

The reception of need varies considerably from farmer to farmer,
even when adjusted for differences in soil and cropping conditions.
A farmers perception is heavily influenced by (1) his aversion to
risk and production variability, (2) his risk bearing ability and
(3) his available capital investment alternatives.

People Involved in the Decisionmaking Process

In general, the potential irrigators will be working with a variety
of people including (1) well drillers, (2) equipment salesmen, (3) agri.
cultural creditors and (4) extension and educational advisors. Each
of these people will see the problem in a different manner according


to his objectives and biases. The well driller and equipment salesmen
are often little concerned with economic feasibility, only that the
farmer find credit to buy equipment. Although traditionally many agri-
cultural lenders have been overconcerned with security, more and more
agricultural creditors are basing loans on repayment capacity. Even
so, if the farmer has sufficient equity, he may not consider economic
profitability. The extension and educational advisors will consider
both economic and financial feasibility in counseling the farmer and
his agricultural creditor.

Many farmers are unduly influenced by the short run and, in
particular, the first year, even though every year in Wisconsin tends
to be an exceptional year, and considerably different from the previous
year. Major portions of Wiscorsin suffered severe droughts in 1976.
In response to widespread concern, a University of Wisconsin Extension
program was developed to apprise farmers of basic information about
their soils, crop water requirements and the economics of irrigation.
At that time much publicity was being circulated about immediate long
run shifts in climate. In addition a considerable amount of misinforma-
tion was being circulated about irrigation design, operation and feasibil-
ity. A tour of University State Specialists reached between 1300 to
1600 farmers during a relatively short period. Additional educational
and technical assistance was provided by the USDA Soil Conservation
Service, US Geological Survey and the State Geological and Natural His-
tory Survey.

Can I Irrigate?: The Technical Preconditions of Irrigation.

In answering the question 'Can I irrigate?' the farmer must
assess a set of technical preconditions for irrigation. An irrigable
soil, a readily available source of water, and the legal right to pump
comprise the set of technical preconditions necessary for irrigation.
Assuming that the soil is irrigable, the latter conditions become
crucial in the development of irrigation.

The Legal Right to Pump

Whether the source of irrigation water is from groundwater or
surface diversion, the Wisconsin farmer is confronted by a variety of
regulatory institutions. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
(DNR) was assembled in 1968 from a variety of state agencies and bureaus,
often with conflicting goals and missions. The Division of Environmental
Standards, Bureau of Water Quality, Private Water Supply Section, was
moved from the Department of Public Health and continued to be charged
with the responsibility for high capacity well permits. The Division
of Environmental Protection was formed from parts of the Public Service
Commission and charged with issuing surface water diversion permits.
Finally, the DNR absorbed the Conservation Department which also had
influence in water usage. Thus, although one department had charge
of Wisconsin water usage, different divisions are responsible for ground
and surface water.

Although much of the regulations are mandated by public law, the
different origins of the two divisions are reflected in their administra-
tive codes. Vestiges of their original charges of guaranteeing public


health are evident in their administrative code.

Surface Water Procedure

If public surface waters are an appropriate source and the land
to be irrigated is riparian to a surface water supply, the farmer
applies to the Department of Natural Resources for a surface water
diversion permit.

The Department of Natural Resources must find that the diversion
will not injure public rights in the stream before issuing a permit.
The water to be diverted must be either (1) surplus water defined as
any water of a stream which is not being beneficially used, or (2)
if not surplus, all riparians beneficially using the water downstream
must consent to the diversion.

In two recent cases', the Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld section
30.18 of the Wisconsin Statutes. The Court emphasized that the rights
of existing beneficial users are to be given priority when new applica-
tions are considered. The requirement for consent from beneficial users
is not consistent with the reasonable use doctrine, but the Court found
that the decision to protect prior rights was within the discretion
of the Legislature. Therefore, within Wisconsints irrigation permit
system, the rule of prior appropriation is now used.

In addition to the determination of surplus water, the rules
(Chap. NR-350, Wis. Adm. Code) developed by the Department of Natural
Resources provide for the determination of a public rights stage or
flow at the point of diversion. The public rights stage or flow is
that stage or flow which is necessary to Sprotect navigation and its
incidents, to prevent undue harm to aquatic and wildlife habitat, and
to preserve adequate water quality.

The procedures followed to determine if a surface water diversion
permit should be issued are:

1) The farmer supplies the application and supporting documenta-
tion that describe the arable, riparian land and the proposed diversion
(pump size, maximum rate of diversion, number of irrigations, depth
of water per application, dates begin and end each year).

2) The Department staff gives the application a priority date,
then makes a detailed field investigation. They determine if the land
to be irrigated is riparian and meets the chain-of-the-title test, or
thas always been conveyed as a unit since the original purchase from
the government.' The surface water diversion will probably be denied
because the stream is a trout stream or most of the proposed land to
be irrigated is not riparian, or there is no 'surplus water' left to
appropriate. The Department (DNR) is reluctant to issue a surface
water diversion permit because a prior right is established. The
permit can be retrieved by the State only under adverse hearing pro-
cedures. Further, the right can be bought and sold.

Ground Water

Future expansion of irrigation through use of public surface water


holds little promise in Wisconsin and much of the Midwest because of
the basic conflict in the timing of agricultural demands with other
private and public demands. However, much of Wisconsin has abundant
groundwater available in either the glacial deposits or the underlying
bedrock. Thus, future expansion is most likely to be generated by deep
well pumpage of groundwater.

In Wisconsin, one must apply to the Department of Natural Resources,
Bureau of Water Quality, Private Water Supply Section before installing
a high capacity well pumping more than 70 gpm.

Wisconsints Law (144.025(2)(e) requires approval from the Department
of Natural Resources before one or more wells can be constructed and
pumped at 100,000 gallons per day (70 gallons per minute). The Department
can deny approval or limit production of any wells that significantly
interfere with public water utilities.

High capacity irrigation wells are generally constructed using
lighter-weight pipe, cheaper screens, and other features of lesser
quality than required by the more stringent standards established
for drinking water or food processing. Each well is granted a permit
for an approved comparable construction of a non-potable water supply.

Private well owners have substantial protection as a result of
a recent Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling (State of Wisconsin v. Michels
Pipeline Construction, Inc. 1974). The Court applied the reasonable
use doctrine to groundwater by saying a landowner can withdraw groundwater,
subject to the restriction that the withdrawal of water cannot cause
unreasonable harm by lowering of the water table or the reduction of
artesian pressure. Where problems are likely to occur, the Department
of.Natural Resources warns applicants of the liability, pointing out
that Department approval in no way reduces or changes liability.

Pumping records for high capacity wells are to be filed with the
Department. These monthly reports include data on static water levels,
drawdowns and gallonages pumped.

The application for the proposed well includes such information
as the location of the new well, a detailed description of the existing
wells, estimated average and maximum water consumption per day of the
proposed well, estimated or measured water consumption of existing
wells a detailed description of the proposed construction and the
location of the nearest public water supply.

The Department (DNR) carefully reviews the application. The
permit will be issued subject to some conditions, such as abandoning
an existing well under a prescribed program, filing a copy of the well
log prepared by the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey,
and getting prior Department approval before making any changes during
construction. The Department does not hold a hearing on the high
capacity well permit application.

A somewhat unique feature of the Wisconsin situation is that in
essence, two permits are issued when the high capacity well is approved.


One covers the construction of the well, the second covers the water
use. If the owner leases the land and high capacity well to another
farmer, he is expected to arrange with the DNR for transfer of the
water use or pumping portion of the permit to the lessee precluding
his legal right to pump water from his well.

Is it Economically Feasible to Irrigate?: The Assessment of
Economic Feasibility.

An irrigable soil, a readily available source of water, and the
legal right to pump comprise a set of technical preconditions necessary
for irrigation. If the preconditions are satisfied, investment in
irrigation may be neither economically or financially unfeasible.
An individual faces sequential tests of economic and financial feasi-
bility. The test of economic feasibility is based on the test of
economic profitability, where all inputs are priced at their opportun-
ity cost, even though they may not be cash, out-of-pocket costs.

The Impact of Institutions

A number of institutions directly influence the economic feasi-
bility of irrigation in Wisconsin. These include farm ownership
patterns, local, State and Federal governments (taxing and assessment)
markets and related infrastructure.

Farm Ownership Patterns

In the United States, farm ownership patterns are not generally
considered to be constraints to growth. However, ownership patterns
as well as physical features are important determinants of field shape
and size. Field shape and size are extremely important variables in
determining investment requirements per acre. The most desirable field
shape is the square 160 acre field which permits the operation of a
standing center pivot, generating investment requirements of about
$400 per irrigated acre. Smaller or irregular-shaped fields caused
by topographical features, roads or ownership patterns requiring
the operation of subsized pivots and traveling guns generate investment
requirements of $500 or more per irrigated acre. Associated with the
higher investments and subsized systems is an increase in annual total

The cost structure of owning and operating irrigation equipment
is similar to most agricultural equipment about 65 to 75 percent of
the total costs of ownership are fixed. A full size, deep well, center
pivot generates a total cost of operation of $84 per acre, of which
$63 are fixed. Because of the high proportion of fixed costs, total
cost irrigated acre is very sensitive to less than full size oper-
ations. A high cost system might be typified as one traveling gun
and one well per 80 acre unit. Associated with the high cost system
is an annual total cost of $120 per irrigated acre of which $85 are
fixed. In the production of irrigated corn, the square, 160 acre field
requires increases in corn yields of 53 bushels per irrigated acre to
break even. While the high cost system requires yield increases of about
79 bushels per acre to breakeven. If both fields can generate an 85


bushel increase of corn, the square, 160 acre field is worth about $270
more per irrigated acre than the smaller or irregular shaped field.

Local, htate and Federal Taxes.

In Wisconsin, two sets of taxes affect economic profitability,

income and real estate taxes. Current real estate taxes are in the
neighborhood of 2 percent of current fair market value. Increases
in land values due to irrigation range from as much as $200 to $400
per irrigated acre in corn production to as much as $1,000 to $1,200
per irrigated acre for land in potato production.

The impact of Federal, State, local and self-employment income
taxes is greater and its influence on investor decisionmaking more
profound than real estate taxes. Based on a full size center pivot
and an 85 bushel increase over dry land production, total costs of pro-
duction before taxes and tax credits are about $1.88 per bushel.
Including Wisconsin, Federal and self-employment, income taxes total
about $.36 per bushel which is based on $2.40 per bushel, four
exemptions and $25,000 of other net taxable income.

However, the IRS allows a number of options to reduce the tax
burden. Fast depreciation methods are allowed, and if most of the
investment capital is borrowed, the advantages of owning the machine
occur early in the life cycle when the time value of money is high,
while the disadvantages occur late in the life cycle, when the time
value of money is less.

The IRS distinguishes between two types of income: ordinary and
capital gains. Although the annual depreciation and finance costs of
the irrigation investment are deducted as normal deductible expenses,
appreciation in land values due to its development may be capital gain
income and taxed at a much lower rate.

One other provision has an impact on the development of irrigation.
The Federal Government has attempted to increase private capital invest-
ment by allowing an investment credit of 10 percent on certain new
equipped items. For the example above, the investment credit ammor-
tized over the machinery life time is about $.08 per bushel. The invest-
ment credit serves to reduce the effective acquisition cost to the pur-
chaser without decreasing other depreciation, a tax deductible item.

Markets and Associated Infrastructure

In the decisionmaking process, institutions tend to influence very
strongly the economic profitability of irrigation by establishing markets
and their associated infrastructure. Well functioning markets relay
the price signals to producers, promoting efficient production. The
marketing system should absorb as little income as possible in transform-
ing raw producer goods into consumer goods. An inefficient, disorderly
marketing system confuses and confounds the price signals, creating
suboptimal. investment patterns and income distribution problems.


Associated with the marketing system is an infrastructure consisting
of a transportation network, handling and storage facilities, communic-
ations and financing systems.

For example, in Wisconsin many specialty crops are very profitable
to irrigate. However, unless a well functioning market exists, they
may not be grown. Most processing plants are very specialized, require
large amounts of capital, and because transportation of raw produce
tends to be expensive, tend to depend upon local markets. Thus in any
one area there tends to be relatively few processors. Because of their
cost structure, the processors want to guarantee themselves a crop,
therefore, they forward contract with the irrigators. However, when
the production is forward contracted under highly specialized, variable
term contracts, market information may be limited, fostering imperfect
and unfair markets, potentially reducing producer prices.

Although not a specialty crop, the breakeven yields of corn can
be used to demonstrate the importance of well functioning markets.
If a poor transportation system or inefficient market reduces farm level
corn prices by $.10 per bushel, the necessary breakeven yield increases
are increased 7 to 8 bushels per acre.

Poorly functioning hay markets have encouraged the irrigation of
alfalfa in Wisconsin. Large quantities of high quality alfalfa are
often difficult to buy in Wisconsin, particularly in drought years.
Thus, many dairymen irrigate alfalfa hay as a means of ensuring a steady
supply of high quality forages. These dairymen treat irrigation as
an insurance strategy. The appropriate method for evaluation of irriga-
tion as an insurance policy is to determine the premium. One method
of determining the premium is to compare the breakeven price to the
weighted average price of hay purchased. The average prices should
be weighted to consider the relationship between quantity needed and
juice. If alfalfa yield increases in Wisconsin are fixed at 2.5 tons
per acre, breakeven prices range from $54 to $67 per ton depending upon
the type of irrigation system. Traditionally they have sold for some-
what less than this. Thus, many Wisconsin dairymen may consider irriga-
tion not as a profit maximizing but as a risk reducing strategy, and
the corresponding premium very acceptable.

Is is Financially Feasible to Irrigate?: The Assessment of Financial

Once the decisionmaker determines that irrigation is economically
feasible he evaluates the financial feasibility of irrigation. In
general economic feasibility can be considered as dealing with the
long run. Financial feasibility, on the other hand, deals primarily
with the short run. Financial feasibility is based on dual tests of
firm liquidity and solvency. For most farmers and agricultural creditors
the test is annual cash flows and repayment capacity. In evaluating
cash flows and solvency, a financial feasibility analysis must consider
the impact of a number of variables such as terms of credit, income
taxes, initial start-up costs, producer learning rates and machine re-
Because the capital investment requirements are very high, the
availability of debt capital and the associated terms of credit are


particularly important in irrigation development. In 1978, Wisconsin,
which has very modest irrigated acreage, will require at least $13 million
of capital for equipment and land development and $2 million for
operation of newly developed land. If specialty crops are included,
capital requirements could easily double or triple.

Several years ago many of the irrigation systems in the Midwest
were entirely financed with intermediate, seven year loans. However,
given the relatively long planning horizon of the investment and producer
inexperience in irrigation, there was strong pressure to change the
terms of financing, to longer financing periods.

Terms of Financing

Currently, a commonly financed system places machinery on a 7-year
loan (9.5 percent interest) and well and land development on a 25 year,
real estate loan (9.0 percent interest). This and most financing repay-
ment periods tend to be considerably less than the economic life of
the machine components, requiring either substantial investor equity
or greater yield increases to be financially feasible. Under the above
terms of credit, in order to meet its own cash flow demands, irrigation
corn production requires that approximately 25 percent of the total
capital investment be equity capital (assuming yield increases at the
economic breakeven level). If 100 percent of the total capital requirement
is borrowed, breakeven yields to meet cash flow demands must be 15 to
20 bushels above those required to be economically feasible. It is also
important that the terms of credit be based on repayment ability.
Establishment of short repayment periods, allows only the high equity
investor to develop lands or the immensely profitable soils to be

Federal and State laws have an important impact in the assignment
of valuation to irrigation water. Because many irrigable soils have
little inherent productivity without supplemental irrigation, irrigation
water rights may be worth as much as $1,000 to $1,500 per acre in potato
production and less in alternative uses. Thus, the legal right to pump
assumes a value. The assignment and the permanency of that right is
important not only to the irrigator but also to those financing irriga-
tion and to the public.

Securing the Loan

If the water right is associated with land, the value of the rights
become incorporated in land values where it may be taxed as part of
the real estate. As a negotiable right, it will assume a value, which
differs from its value in use on that farm. If neither the approval
to pump groundwater, nor the permit to pump public surface waters is
associated with land title as a negotiable right, it is not clear where
or how much of its value will be absorbed. Problems may then arise
in securing the financing or irrigation investments. Emergency, short-
term pumping permits issued during the droughts may prove to be mixed
blessings, encouraging investment in relatively long-lifed assets but
not allowing a use period leng enough to.cover their economic life.
Automatic renewal of permits granted under emergency conditions


may also be counterproductive to public interests.

Summary and Conclusion

As food and fiber become scarce and their corresponding prices
are driven up, pressure to irrigate is generated. In today's complex
political and economic systems, a number of institutions precede
the development of irrigation and heavily influence the speed and direct-
ion of its development. Institutions preceding the development of irrig-
ation include income tax laws, markets, transportation, and some basic
water laws. However, the development of irrigation impacts on existing
institutions, modifying them, creating still new ones.

In general, institutions can be divided into three groups according
to how they impact on the decisionmarking environment: (1) resource
availability and use, (2) economic feasibility, and (3) financial
feasibility. The impact of institutions on water allocation and con-
trol are more familiar than their impact on economic or financial feasi-
bility. These institutions include farm ownership pattern, local, State
and Federal taxes, markets and associated infrastructure, and financial


1. Canton, L. M., 1967. A World Geography of Irrigation, Oliver and
Boyd, London, England.

2. Curwen, D. and L. R. Massie, 1977. Sprinkler Irrigation in Wis
consin, University of Wisconsin Extension Bulletin A2839,
Madison, Wisconsin.

3. Kappel, W., 1974. Development and Population Pressures, Anthropo-
logical Papers of the University of Arizona, No. 25, The Univer-
sity of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona.

4. Mac Adams, R., 1974. Historic Patterns of Mesopitanian Irrigation
Agriculture, Anthropological Papers of the University of Arizona,
No. 25, The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona.

5. Mead, E., 1903. Irrigation Institutions, The MacMillian Company,
New York, New York.

6. Thomas, G., 1970. The Development of Institutions Under Irrigation,
The MacMillan Company, New York, New York.

Thomas S. Maddock,1F. ASCE
David L. Hardan,2A.M. ASCE


Construction of the California State Water Project (SWP) was started
in 1960 to supply prospective water needs in central and southern
California. The California Aqueduct, constructed on the west side
of the San Joaquin Valley, provided capacity for delivery of both
municipal and agricultural water to the Kern County area not served
by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) Central Valley Project
(CVP). The Kern County Water Agency (KCWA) was formed in 1961
and subsequently contracted with the State Department of Water Re-
sources (DWR) for a maximum annual entitlement of 1,153,000 acre-
feet. Areas adjacent to the California Aqueduct quickly organized
water districts which contracted with KCWA for delivery of SWP
water and proceeded with construction of distribution systems.
Areas on the east side of the valley which had been allocated SWP
water, however, delayed in contracting with KCWA. Execution of
water supply contracts was meaningless unless an economically
feasible program could be formulated to transport water from the
point of availability at the California Aqueduct located 20 miles
westerly across the valley. This paper describes the Cross Valley
Canal constructed in Kern County in 1974-76 to meet this require-
ment. The paper discusses the history leading to formulation of the
project, the institutional arrangements for financing, construction,
operation, and the physical capability of the project.


KCWA, in 1963-64, allocated its state contract water entitlement
to prospective contracting member units. KCWA's policy provided
that each of the member units would be responsible for the financing,

1President/Consulting Engineer. Boyle Engineering Corporation,
Irvine, California

2Principal Engineer, Boyle Engineering Corporation, Bakersfield,


construction, and operation of all facilities for delivery of SWP water
to their service areas from designated turnouts on the California
Aqueduct. Potential member units on the east side of the valley,
20 miles distance and 100 feet in elevation above the California Aque-
duct, would incur the obligation to construct such transportation
facilities when they contracted with KCWA for SWP water deliveries.
Water would be available in the California Aqueduct in 1970 to pros-
pective east side member units which included urban Bakersfield
and the agricultural areas of the Cawelo Water District (Cawelo),
Kern Delta Water District (Kern Delta), Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water
Storage District (Rosedale), and the Pond-Poso Improvement District
of the Semitropic Water Storage District (Pond-Poso). Throughout
these areas, water levels were declining (10 feet per year in some
locations) as a result of groundwater mining. The solution to the
problem required that supplemental water be imported to balance
the pumping overdraft, thereby maintaining the existing economy of
the area. The alternative--legal adjudication of groundwater
rights--would have unacceptable social and economic consequences.
Planning was therefore started in the early 1960s to define require-
ments for transportation and distribution facilities for delivery of
SWP water to these districts. Figure 1 shows the location of these
districts relative to the California Aqueduct.

In 1963, a plan to deliver imported municipal and industrial water
across the valley for urban Bakersfield was defined (1). In 1965,
both Cawelo and Rosedale developed independent plans for conveyance
of agricultural water to their service areas, but identified joint water
transmission opportunities with other east side member units (2, 3).
In 1967, KCWA defined a water exchange program on the Kern River
which was compared with a joint-use cross valley canal alternative
primarily for the purpose of providing imported water for urban
Bakersfield (4). Attempts were made during the 1967-70 period to
work out water exchanges for urban Bakersfield with holders of Kern
River water rights, as such a program could potentially eliminate
the investment in cross valley water conveyance facilities. How-
ever, mutually satisfactory terms could not ultimately be negotiated.

In 1967-68, Kern Delta and Cawelo formulated a program for ex-
change of Kern River water and joint construction of a cross delta
canal; however, the parties were unable to negotiate the final agree-
ments to implement this project. In 1967, Rosedale, because of its
relative proximity to the California Aqueduct, decided to proceed
with construction of independent facilities but subsequently delayed
in advertising for bids, thereby maintaining its option to participate
in a joint-use facility should such a project eventually be formulated.
In 1969-70, engineering studies for the city of Bakersfield again ana-
lyzed alternative plans, including Kern River water exchanges, for
delivery of SWP water to urban Bakersfield (8). These studies sup-
ported construction of a joint-use cross valley canal facility similar
to plans previously advanced by KCWA and others.





In 1970, SWP water became available in the California Aqueduct to
prospective east-side member units with the obligation to pay KCWA
the associated fixed cost of allocated water. However, the water
was sold to other operational member units, thereby temporarily
relieving the east-side areas of this obligation.

In 1970 and 1971, additional engineering studies were made of a
cross valley joint-use canal to support hearings on the formation of
an urban Bakersfield Improvement District (Bakersfield ID) of
KCWA which would be one of the participants in such a facility (5, 6).
Proposed Kern River and CVP water exchanges along with the use of
the Friant-Kern Canal were integral elements of this program.
These reports first advanced specific institutional arrangements for
financial participation, construction, and operation of a joint-use
facility. It was proposed that the participants implement the project
under "joint-powers" authority granted public entities by state law.
This authority provides for public agencies to organize themselves
by contract to implement projects benefiting the participants or

The Bakersfield ID was organized in 1972 as the entity that would
participate in a cross valley canal and distribute SWP municipal and
industrial water in the urban Bakersfield area. About this same
time, Pond-Poso decided not to participate in this program because
of concern that the federal 160-acre limitation would be imposed if
the Friant-Kern Canal were used for deliveries of SWP'water to its
service area. Because of its proximity to the California Aqueduct,
Pond-Poso elected to construct independent facilities. Cawelo was
similarly concerned and would participate if the program elimi-
nated use of the Friant-Kern Canal. Later, it became clear that the
contemplated water exchanges on the Kern River and Friant-Kern
Canal could not be satisfactorily culminated. The remaining partici-
pants, nevertheless, urged KCWA to continue with sponsorship of
the project because of the urgent need for imported water to relieve
the groundwater overdraft in their respective areas.

In 1972, contracts for participation in the construction and operation
of a joint-use cross valley canal project were drafted based on four
SWP user participants: Bakersfield ID, Cawelo, Kern Delta, and
Rosedale. These contracts, in effect, created a joint-venture of the
public entities to implement this project.

The principles embodied in these contracts providing for construction
and operation of a cross valley canal were:

1. KCWA would be designated project sponsor with responsibility
to act as banker, construction agent, and operator of the facili-
ties; KCWA would act on behalf of Bakersfield ID.

2. Each participant would pay for its share of capacity in the
project based on actual costs incurred for design and construc-
tion and would independently arrange financing.


3. Each participant would be responsible for the design, construc-
tion, operation, and financing of internal facilities within its
service area for distribution of water delivered via a cross
valley canal.

4. Each participant would be entitled to a specified portion
of the capacity in the project through which it would convey
water obtained under separate water supply contracts.

5. Actual capital and operating cost of the project would be allo-
cated to the participants in each reach based on the following

C. = C -P + __P
Sr AEp Q


Where: C = Actual cost in $ (construction or main-
tenance and operation)

AE = Annual quantity of water to be conveyed
in acre-ft

Q = Capacity in cfs

r = Reach of project

p = Participant

6. Pumping costs would be based upon energy used for actual
quantities of water pumped through each pumping station;

7. Each participant would advance funds to KCWA, which would
disburse funds for construction and operation of the project;

8. Provisions were made for the withdrawal of a participant prior
to start of construction in the event of failure to arrange for
financing of its allocated share of project costs and internal
distribution facilities.

The first contract providing for construction and operation of a cross
valley canal based on the foregoing principles was signed on Septem-
ber 19, 1972, by Cawelo as a participant and KCWA as project spon-
sor. While the contract was subsequently amended to provide for
changes in the participating districts and project design capacity, the
terms and conditions for participation remained unchanged.

In late 1972, KCWA adopted a program and schedule for design and
construction of the Cross Valley Canal Project assuming partici-
pation by SWP users consisting of Bakersfield ID, Cawelo, Rose-
dale, and Kern Delta (7). Cross Valley Consultants, a joint-venture


of Bookman-Edmonston Engineering, Inc.; Boyle Engineering Corpo-
ration; Leeds, Hill & Jewett, Inc.; and Thomas M. Stetson, was
employed in December, 1972, to prepare designs, plans, and speci-
fications for receipt of construction bids in early 1974. The draft
environmental impact report on the project was completed and pro-
ceedings pursuant to state environmental laws were commenced by
KCWA in 1973.

In 1972-73, existing and prospective USBR contractors for CVP
water served by the Friant-Kern Canal in Kern, Tulare, and Fresno
Counties were increasingly concerned about the adequacy of their
water supply (see Figure 1). The USBR had developed water sup-
plies for the CVP service area, but there was inadequate water
conveyance capacity in the Friant-Kern Canal for deliveries to areas
of need. DWR and USBR therefore worked out a cooperative program
to wheel the USBR water through the California Aqueduct to Kern
County. Districts were offered the opportunity to contract jointly
with USBR and DWR for delivery of CVP water via the California
Aqueduct to Kern County. This water could then be transported via
the Cross Valley Canal to the intake of the Arvin-Edison Water
Storage District (Arvin-Edison), a USBR contractor for CVP water
operating since 1965. This provided the physical mechanism to
carry out a major water exchange program on the Friant-Kern
Canal. CVP water releases scheduled for delivery to Arvin-Edison
could be diverted to satisfy upstream requirements and could be re-
placed by deliveries from the Cross Valley Canal directly to Arvin-
Edison. Arvin-Edison would benefit from such a program through
improved summer peaking and a firmer water supply.

In 1973, Kern-Tulare Water District (Kern-Tulare) and Rag Gulch
Water District (Rag Gulch) decided to contract with the USBR/DWR
for supplemental CVP water and to participate in the Cross Valley
Canal with deliveries to their areas arranged via Arvin-Edison water
exchange. About the same time, six entities in the Friant-Kern
Canal service areas of Fresno and Tulare Counties expressed in-
terest in participating via similar water exchange arrangements.

During 1973, the design capacity of the project was modified to pro-
vide for participation by Kern-Tulare and Rag Gulch. Meanwhile,
Kern Delta culminated a water exchange on the Kern River and with-
drew from the project. The six prospective USBR/ DWR contractors
for CVP water in Tulare and Fresno Counties wanted the project ca-
pacity increased to provide for their requirements. However, it was
clear that they could not arrange to finance their allocated share of
costs in time for the scheduled 1974 start of construction. Ac-
cordingly, Arvin-Edison, acting on behalf of the Fresno-Tulare
group, deposited funds in the latter part of 1973 to incorporate their
capacity requirements in the design of the project. Contractual
arrangements provided for Arvin-Edison to participate in the project
on an incremental cost basis with the right of assignment to six
specified Fresno-Tulare districts that would pay full allocated costs
when water deliveries started to their respective service areas. In


effect, Arvin-Edison and the other participants financed the Fresno-
Tulare group in the project until they could carry out their individual
financing programs. Alternate plans and bid documents were then
developed for projects both with and without capacity for the Fresno-
Tulare group so construction could proceed as scheduled.

Construction bids were received in February, 1974, and the partici-
pants completed financing with the public sale of bonds (approxi-
mately $50 million) for their allocated share of costs in the Cross
Valley Canal as well as for construction of their internal distribution
systems. The Fresno-Tulare entities successfully arranged for their
participation through Arvin-Edison. The state DWR provided low
interest loans to Rosedale and Cawelo amounting to 22 percent and
7 percent, respectively, of the total financing package of these dis-
tricts. The financing for the agricultural districts was subject to
review and certification by the State Treasurer of the State of Cali-
fornia. Proceeds from the sale of bonds were deposited with KCWA
and construction contracts were awarded in April, 1974. The final
participants in the project included three SWP water users and three
water contractors for CVP water, including Arvin-Edison, acting on
behalf of six other USBR/DWR contracting entities in Fresno and
Tulare Counties. Two additional USBR/DWR contractors have been
subsequently included in the Fresno-Tulare group bringing the total
to eight.

Table 1 summarizes the foregoing historical events leading to formu-
lation of the Cross Valley Canal Project. Table 2 summarizes the
participants in the project together with their capacity and contrac-
tual quantities of water to be conveyed to their respective service
areas through this facility. A project that had been originally en-
visioned as a transportation facility solely for SWP water users in
the early 1960s finally evolved 10 years later into a project with
50 percent of the capacity assigned for KCWA member units as SWP
users and 50 percent for USBR/DWR contractors for CVP water.

TABLE 1.-Cross Valley Canal Project-Sumary of Significant Project Formulation Events
Date Activity
1WT KCNA organized.
1963-64 KCNA contracts for SUP water entitlement in California Aqueduct; KCWA allocation of water to
prospective contracting ember uits.
1963-68 Engineering studies of alternative plans to transport SUP water 20 miles from California Aqueduct
to Bakersfield ID, Cawelo, Rosedale, and ern Delta on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley;
concept plans of joint-use facilities advanced.
1969-70 Engineering studies by city of Bakersfield and KCTA determine a joint-use cross valley canal
facility froe California Aqueduct connecting to the Friant-Kern Canal at Bakersfield to be most
economic plan for delivery of SUP water to east side member units;
1971-72 Plan for formation of Bakersfield ID proposes institutional arrangements for implementation of a
cross valley canal through joint-powers contracting authority, Bakersfield ID formed and first
participation contract for construction and operation signed by Cawelo, September 19, 1972; final
design started December, 1972 (see Table 2 for original participants).
1973-74 USBR/DnR contractors for CVP water on Friant-Kern Canal to receive water via water exchange with
Arvin-Edison join projects participants complete financing; construction contracts awarded
April 1974 (see Table 2 for final participants).
1976 Cross Valley Canal Project fully operational and delivering water to service areas of partici-
pating entities.


TABLE 2. -Cross Valley Canal-Participants at California Aqueduct Turnout
Source 1970-1971 1972 a 1973 1974b
Water 1000 1000 1000 1000
Participant Supply Use Acre-Ft CFS Acre-Ft CFS Acre-Ft CFS Acre-Ft CFS
Bakersfield ID SWP M&I 77.0 141 77.0 141 77.0 141 77.0 141
Cawelo SWP Agric 45.0 135 45.0 135 55.0 165 45.0 135
Kern Delta SWP Agric 30.0 90 15.0 45 ---- ---
Rosedale SWP Agric 35.0 90 35.0 90 35.0 90 35.0 90
Pond-Poso SWP Agric 40.0 120 ---- --- ---- --- -
Kern-Tulare CVPc Agric ---- -- --- -- 40.0 120 40.0 120
Rag Gulch CVPc Agric --- -- ---- -- 13.3 40 "13.3 40
Arvin-Edisond CVPc Agric ---- -- --- -- ---- --- 70.0 210
tOtAL 227.0 576 172.0 411 220.3 55 280.3 736
% SWP Water 100 100 100 100 76 71 56 50
% CVP Water 0 0 0 0 24 29 44 50
% Agriculture 66 76 55 66 65 75 73 81

aPartlcipants at time of signing first contract for construction and operation of Project,
September, 1972, and at start of design December 1972.
bFinal Project participants at start of construction. April, 1974 (see Figure 1).
cCVP water delivered via Arvin-Edison water exchange on Friant-Kern Canal.
dArvin-Edison acting for eight Fresno-Tulare entities (see Table 5).
Metric conversion: one acre-ft = 1233 m3: one cfs = 0.028 m3/sec.


Construction of the Cross Valley Canal was completed in late 1975
and became fully operational in January, 1976, with the capability
to deliver both SWP and CVP water to the service areas of the pro-
ject participants. Figure 1 shows the geographical location of all
participants benefiting from the project and Figure 2 shows the op-
erational schematic. Table 3 summarizes the final capacity in each
reach of the project for participating districts as well as the annual
quantities of water to be conveyed with this capacity. Figure 3 shows
the hydraulic profile of the project; elements of the project in opera-
tional status are shown in Figure 4.

The capital cost of the project is estimated at $24 million pending
settlement of remaining contractor and right-of-way claims.
Tables 4 and 5 summarize the allocation of the estimated final capi-
tal costs to participants pursuant to the formula specified in the con-
tracts for construction and operation of the project. Unit costs of
water conveyed are summarized in Table 6.

The overall contractual program for implementation of the Cross
Valley Canal Project is summarized graphically in Figure 5. In
total, 29 agreements and/or contracts as follows were required to
implement the Cross Valley Canal Project:

Contract/Agreement Number
Water Supply Contract
KCWA SWP Water 3
Arvin-Edison Water Exchange Agreements 10
Contracts for Construction and Operation 6


I I M00 Acre-(t) 1 1.0


( 29000 Acre-ft. )

( 29000 Aore-ft)

( 2,800 Acre-ft)

I Acr-ft.= 1233m'
lets = .0.0280m0 FRIANT-KERN

c REACH 2-

pIsIN2 PiN 3

370 cfs-123.,00Acre-ft.



TABLE 3.-Final Participation in Cross Valley Canala

Water Reach No. 1 Reach No. 2 Reach No. 3 Extension
Supply 1000 1000 1000 1000
Participant Source Use Acre-Ft CFS AFS Acre-FCFS Acre-Ft CFS Acre-Ft CFS

Bakersfield ID SWP M&I 77.0 141 77.0 141 77.0 141 77.0 141
Cawelo SWP Agric 45.0 135 45.0 135 45.0 135 55.0 165
Rosedale-Rio SWP Agric 35.0 90 23.3 60 ---- --- ----
Arvin-Edisonc CVPb Agric 70.0 2100 210 210 70.0 210 ---- ---
Kern-Tulare CVPb Agric 40.0 120 40.0 120 40.0 120 ---- ---
Rag Gulch CVPb Agric 13.3 40 13.3 40 13.3 40 ----

TOTAL 280.3 736 268.6 706 245.3 646 132.0 306
% SWP Water 56 50 54 48 50 43 100 100
% CVP Water 44 50 46 52 50 57 0 0
% Agricultural 73 81 71 80 69 78 42 54

aSee Figures 1, 2 and 3, for geographical location of participants and operational
plan of project.
bCVP water delivered via Arvin-Edison water exchange on Friant-Kern Canal.
CArvin-Edison interests assigned to eight Fresno and Tulare County entities (see Table 5).

Metric conversion: one acre-ft = 1233 mt one cfs = 0.028 m3/sec.

TABLE 4.-Allocation of Estimated Cross Valley Canal Capital Cost
to Project Participantsa($1,000)

b Rag Kern- Arvin- Bakers-
Reach Rosedale Gulch Tulare Edisonc field ID Cawelo Total

1 819 336 1,012 1.773 1,544 1,139 6.623
2 664 411 1,236 2.165 1,886 1,390 7,752
3 0 138 414 726 632 467 2,377
Ext. 0 0 0 0 3,530 3,718 7,248

Total 1,483 885 2,662 4,664 7,592 6,714 24,000

iai l pti l b U.aU~rzn~uatrsL~LL. !ULLLU!l

n-ral capltau cou LUto ue detLrmined after se..liment of outsldalg
contractor and right-of-way claims: see Figures 1 and 2 for geographical
location of participants and operation plan of project.
bSee Figure 3 for reach location.
CSee Table 5 for assignment to Fresno-Tulare group.


a -

_ i / i

Swi g
z -a
o I -
Q Sol


Cross Valley Canal, at California Aqueduct (SWP)

Pump Station No. 1, at Interstate 5

Pump Station No. 2, at Rosedale's West Turnout Pump Station No. 5, at Rosedale's East Turnout

Pump Station No. 6, at Arvin-Edison Turnout,
Friant Kern Canal, Arvin-Edison Canal

Terminus at Urban Bakersfield Imp. Dist.
Treatment Plant and Cawelo W.D. Turnout




TABLE 5.-Arvin-Edison Assignment of Cross Valley Canal Interest to Freano-Tulare Group

Percent of Allocation of
Entlty-USBR/DWR Contractors for County Arvin-Edison 1,000 Capital Cost
CVP Water a Location Interest Acre-Ft CFS ($1,000)

Lower Tule River Irrigation District Tulare 41.47 29.0 87.1 1.934
Pixley Irrigation District Tulare 41.47 29.0 87.1 1,934
County of Fresno Fresno 4.00 2.8 8.4 187
County of Tulare Tulare 4.00 2.8 8.4 187
Tri-Valley Water District Fresno 1.31 1.0 2.7 61
Hills Valley Irrigation District Fresno 2.86 2.0 6.0 133
Ducor Irrigation Districtb Tulare 1.60 1.1 3.4 75
Hope Water Districtb Tulare 3.29 2.3 6.9 153
TOTALS 100.0 70.0 210.0 4,664c

aSee Figures I and 2 for geographical location of participants and operational plan of project.
bNot assigned, June. 1978.
eArvin-Edison allocated cost on behalf of Fresno-Tulare group (see Table 4).

Metric Conversion: one acre-ft = 1233 m3; one cfs = 0.028 m3/sec.

TABLE 6.-Estimated Unit Cost for Water Conveyed Through the Cross
Valley Canala($ per acre-foot)

Location b
Extension to
Through Bakersfield ID
Reach 3 to Water Treat-
Friant-Kern Canal ment Plant

Capital Cost c 4.50 9.30
Maintenance & Operation Cost 2.00 2.50
Pumping Cost 5.00 6.00
Cross Valley Canal Conveyance 11.50 17.80
Add: Estimated 1978 cost of
agricultural water at
California Aqueductd 10.60 10.60
Estimated Canalside Cost
of Water Delivered
to Participants 22.10 28.40

aBased on 1978 cost index.
bSee Figure 3 for reach location.
cAnnual cost based on 35 years at 6.75% interest.
dAgricultural water estimated at $22/acre-ft in 1985 and $35/acre-ft
in 1995; municipal and industrial water estimated at $23/acre-ft in 1978,
$32/acre-ft in 1985, and $40/acre-ft in 1995.

Metric conversion: 1 acre-ft = 1233 m3


Note I Acre-ft 1233m'




The Cross Valley Canal evolved as a joint-venture project by local
agencies through the common need and desire to economically convey
water to their respective service areas from a source 20 miles dis-
tant. Lacking a single agency to implement such a project, it was
necessary for the individual entities to join together and individually
finance their share of the costs for construction of a facility that
would accommodate their needs. There were many contracts and
agreements with time-consuming negotiations required to implement
this project. This process required each participant to carefully
evaluate its water requirements in relation to the financial capacity
of its constituents to pay the obligations that would be incurred to
obtain imported water. In addition, individual participants can de-
termine the methods most appropriate for assessing costs in pro-
portion to the benefits which accrue from supplemental water de-
liveries within their service areas rather than a single agency
making such determinations.

With reduced activity by the federal government in future water de-
velopment, the Cross Valley Canal Project clearly shows that a
joint venture of local agencies can be organized through contracts
and agreements to successfully implement major water projects of a
regional nature, without federal assistance. A disadvantage of local-
agency joint venture is that one entity must be selected as the spon-
soring agency to act on behalf of the participants to implement a
project. Even though the sponsoring agency's activities are specified
by contractual terms with the participants, there are inherent dif-
ferences in the point-of-view between the sponsor and participant.
Also, if the timing for water is not approximately the same for all
participants, one area may be forced to incur participation costs for
benefits which would accrue in the future. Another disadvantage is
that each of the participants is dependent on others to successfully
finance its project and failure to do so can adversely impact or sig-
nificantly delay an otherwise viable project.

In summary, it is doubtful that the federal or state governments or a
single agency, acting on behalf of both agricultural and urban areas,
could have implemented a project more expeditiously or constructed
a facility significantly more beneficial than that which was accom-
plished by the joint-venture of local agencies in the case of the Cross
Valley Canal.



1. Boyle Engineering Corporation, "Engineering Report on Im-
ported Water Supply for Urban Bakersfield" prepared for the
Kern County Water Agency, August, 1963.

2. Boyle Engineering Corporation, "Engineering and Economic
Report on Proposed Irrigation Project for Cawelo Water Dis-
trict," December, 1965.

3. Boyle Engineering Corporation, "Engineering and Economic
Report on Imported Water Supply Project (Modified) for
Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District," August, 1965.

4. Kern County Water Agency, "Proposed Water Exchange Be-
tween Urban Bakersfield and Buena Vista Water Storage Dis-
trict," July, 1967.

5. Kern County Water Agency, "Report on a Proposed Water
Plan Embracing the Consideration of: (a) Cross Valley Joint-
Use Canal; (b) The Exchange of Water Between Various Dis-
tricts of Member Units; and (c) Cost and Cost Allocation,"
June, 1970.

6. Leeds, Hill and Jewett, Inc., "A Plan for Delivery of Im-
ported Water and a Financial Plan for Urban Bakersfield Area
Improvement District, A Report to the Board of Directors of
the Kern County Water Agency," dated February, 1971, and
three supplemental reports thereto dated July, 1971, Octo-
ber, 1971, and April, 1972.

7. Leeds, Hill and Jewett, Inc., "Proposed Design and Construc-
tion Program Cross Valley Canal Project, Report to the Kern
County Water Agency," September 12, 1972.

8. Stetson, Thomas M., "Summary Report of Alternative Cross
Valley Canals and Kern River Exchange to Provide Supple-
mental Water for Urban Bakersfield" prepared for the city of
Bakersfield, January, 1970.




Roy Burke 1112, M.ASCE, and James P. Heaney3, M.ASCE

I. Context

Most water resource problems have historicity; they evolve and
change over the years and, thus, can really be understood only in the
context of past events. Today's water management problems in the
Upper St. Johns Basin (Florida) began in the early 1800's as settlers
began to recognize the vast agricultural potential of its fertile
organic soils.

Thereafter, agriculture dominated the basin's land use as addi-
tional wetlands fell under the influence of diking, draining, and other
privately-sponsored water control programs. More recently, urbaniza-
tion has begun to challenge agriculture, to the extent that these two
activities now clash in competition for limited land and water--the
classic confrontation.

Prior to World War II, water management in the basin consisted
primarily of privately owned facilities coordinated by local drainage
districts. However, the legendary floods of 1947 demonstrated a need
for more comprehensive management programs to offset the potential for
damage created by gradual floodplain encroachment. In response to this
need, governmental construction agencies began to design large scale
projects to alleviate flood problems and to provide other benefits.

In 1949, the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District
drew up a plan (primarily for flood control) with diversion canals to
carry excess waters from the main stem of the St. Johns directly to the
Indian River, and thereby to the ocean. A potential for water quality
problems in the Indian River estuary, and a benefit cost ratio below
1.0, led to the rejection of this proposal.

In 1957, the Corps of Engineers proposed a "storage and floodway"

2Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University
of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, 22901.

3Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Engineering
Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 32601.


plan which would have established two large conservation areas along
the main stem of the St. Johns River using 115 miles of dikes and
levees. Some objected to this proposal because it required the pur-
chase of too much land and did not protect adequately the interior
(upland) areas from flooding.

In the meantime, demands for municipal water supply, urban devel-
opment, and agricultural expansion encouraged a rethinking of all pro-
ject configurations. A new Corps "revised" plan called for three
interior upland reservoirs connected to smaller conservation areas
along the main stem of the St. Johns River. Included in this plan was
a diversion canal in the southern part of the basin which could carry
excess flood waters directly to the Indian River, if necessary.

Construction began in 1967; facilities for the diversion canal
and the interior upland reservoirs were completed. But, in the
interim, EPA, the Florida Department of Pollution Control, the Florida
Game and Freshwater Fish Commission, along with the Audubon Society,
Sierra Club, and other groups focused attention on potential environ-
mental problems associated with this plan. In March 1971, responding
to these pressures, the Governor's Office halted construction until
proper studies of the project and its potential impacts could be pre-

An outline of the Upper St. Johns Basin appears in Figure 1. The
proposed Corps plan is outlined in Figure 2. Dikes and levees create
three interior upland reservoirs, Jane Green, Blue Cypress, and Fort
Drum, which catch runoff and store water for other uses in dry periods.
These upland reservoirs are connected to three mainstem reservoirs
(also formed by dikes and levees), Lake Poinsett, Lake Washington, and
Lake Wilmington. A diversion structure (Sebastian Canal) from Lake
Wilmington directly east to the Indian River, and the ocean, is not
shown. With these interlocking facilities, water can be collected and
routed in almost any desired pattern.

The study described in this article was a part of a much larger
effort to evaluate the water management problem just described. At
least a dozen specific alternatives--some structural, others non-
structural--were proposed as solutions to the problem. Heaney, et al.
(1974) should be consulted for technical details, however, each alter-
native fell into one of the following four general categories:

A. Unrestricted encroachment plan--let the historical
pattern of development continue without interven-
tion of public agencies. No further project con-

B. Proposed Corps project--finish construction of the
authorized Corps project described in their design

C. No further encroachment plan--through zoning or
other regulations prohibit further development of
the natural flood plain beyond the existing diked










Figure 2. Proposed Corps of Engineers Project for Water
Management in the Upper St. Johns Basin--Florida


areas; and

D. Natural floodplain plan--return the virgin flood-
plain MLRA 156 to its natural state.

Water management projects are extremely complex both technically
and politically. Projects ebb and flow on the basis of competitions
among people, usually with differing values. Thus, a closer look at
existing value structures (of affected groups) including an examina-
tion of decision making arrangements, which provide both the oppor-
tunity for and limitations on value dynamics, can provide a clearer
understanding of the forces that control project evolution.

Some type of "social choice" analysis seemed to be appropriate for
the Upper St. Johns problem, if for no other reason than to bring the
study team into intimate contact with certain non-technical realities.
Social choice analysis can take many forms. Burke and Heaney (1975)
should be consulted for a more complete description of available
approaches to the study of collective decision making. For the St.
Johns study, because of time and dollar limitations, we decided to ex-
plore the consequences of local decision making by means of computer

The particular model developed tends to describe how people actu-
ally behave not how they ought to behave, in political decision making.
Thus, the model provides a measure of people's responses to a given
plan not how the same people would design their own plan if given the
opportunity. Even with this limitation, there is much to be gained
from an exploration of the non-technical dimensions of each water re-
source problem.

II. The Model

The political simulation model developed by Bulkley and McLaughlin
(1966), served as the foundation for the Collective Action Simulation
Model applied in this study. Burke (1974) should be consulted for
specific details on the construction and operation of this particular
model. However, the following paragraphs outline its basic logic and
information needs.

CASM requires the following input information:

1. n participant groups, i = 1, 2, ..., n

2. m issues or components, j = 1, 2, ..., m

3. For each participant group, "i"
a. A salience ranking of his three most preferred
issues, IBEST1, IBEST2, and IBEST3
b. A power coefficient, 0 POWCOFi i 1
c. Ideal goals for each issue, 0 WGOALS.. 5 1
d. Aspiration levels for each issue, TVYES
d. Aspiration levels for each issue, 0 TVYES.. 1


e. Exasperation levels for each issue, 0 f TVNOij j 1
f. Ideological positions toward each issue, -1.0 S POZMATij
4. A plan, described by its m "scaled" components, 0 S SHAREj S 1
CASM operates according to the following logical steps:
1. Given a single plan, SHAREj (j = 1, 2, ..., m), each group de-
cides to oppose or support the plan on the basis of their own
personal goals; these separate decisions create two distinct
coalitions, a "yes" group and a "no" group;
2. Each coalition chooses a leader on the basis of his power and
the intensity of his commitment to the issues;
3. Coalitions are "thinned" by permitting members to drop out if
an ideological conflict exists between the members and their
respective coalition leaders;
4. Once coalitions are "thinned," a plan will pass, fail, or be
tied/stalemated on the basis of aggregate power or votes;
5. For each plan submitted to the decision making arena, steps
(1) through (4) are repeated 100 times to superimpose a
probabilistic measure of "success" or "failure".

III. Identification of Decision Participants

McLaughlin (1973) should be consulted for complete details on the
identification and interviewing of visible decision participants.

In brief, several influential actors were first identified from a
search of correspondence files in various agencies. These leads, along
with those provided by agency knowledgeablees" helped to define an
initial set of influentials. Interviews with these produced an ex-
panded list of participants. By continuing to interview visible ac-
tors, a basic set of commonly identified actors began to repeat itself.
Without searching further, this set was assumed to contain representa-
tive decision participants. Although this procedure and its results
leave room for criticism, few would reject the basic set of actors
identified: landowners, government agencies, conservation organiza-
tions, elected officials, and certain local citizens.

The following statements summarize findings from the survey of
interest groups and their positions:
The need for flood control is an easily manipulated issue
which both sides use to substantiate their position;
Emotionalism runs high because domestic water supply is
involved. Each side accuses the other of subverting the
needs of humans for other less important issues;
The most controversial issue appears to be whether water
held behind the Jane Green reservoir will be transported to
the south for irrigation of citrus. Much confusion exists
over the technical facts behind this issue.


Main supports for the present project appears to come from
citrus interests, developers, and those in the Melbourne area
who feel the project is best for the water supply situation;
Opposition appears to come from the conversation clubs, environ-
mentally-oriented agencies, and those in the Melbourne area who
feel the project is not the answer to the water supply situation;
The cattlemen appear to be against the project because they pre-
fer to be left alone. Their position is misunderstood by many
of those in opposition to the project;
Although the environmentally-oriented opposition forces have
many legitimate issue-specific arguments, their fundamental rea-
sons for opposition appear to go deeper--to a feeling of mis-
placed priorities in water resources;
The potential for conflict between farmer and conservationists
types has much of its basis in a misunderstanding of the other's

IV. Generation of Data
Fourteen actors were identified as having substantial influence
and visibility in the St. Johns question:
1. Cattlemen No. 1
2. Cattlemen No. 2
3. Citrus Growers
4. Land Developers
5. Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
6. Environmental Protection Agency
7. Audubon Society
8. League of Women Voters
9. Brevard County Commissioners
10. Flood Control District
11. Corps of Engineers
12. Melbourne City Council--Pro, COE Project
13. Melbourne City Council--Con, COE Project
14. Melbourne Citizens--Pro, COE Project
There are at least two basic types of interviewing techniques; one
based on carefully prepared questionnaires, the other relying on open-
ended informal discussions. In this study, questionnaires were not
employed. Instead, by soliciting general responses to open questioning,
it was possible to uncover central issues, to find out how participants
viewed each issue and how they felt about other actors, to inquire
about their perceptions of their own roles, and so on.
The following information provides a feel for the nature of basic
data developed. First, the list below contains those "issues" identi-
fied as the dominant concerns of the participants interviewed:
1. Melbourne Water Supply
2. Irrigation Water
3. Amount of Agricultural Production


4. Amount of Residential Development
5. Water Quality
6. Marsh, Fish, and Wildlife Preservation
7. Recreational Opportunities
8. Degree of Flood Protection
Each group, however, had their own special concerns around which
their support or opposition revolved. Table 1 contains information de-
scribing, for each interest group, a salience ranking of their top
three issues. Regardless of whether the participant is "for" or
"against," issues can still rank in importance from first to third.
Table 2 lists the power coefficients assigned to each group. Goals
structures for "soft line" positions on the issues can be found in
Table 3. Using the basic set of eight issues, a number of alternative
plans are described in Table 4. Each entry in the table is coordinated
with the general categories of alternatives described above and is
"scaled" for introduction into CASM. A more complete description of the
input data can be found in Burke (1974).
V. Findings From Social Choice Analysis
The concepts and principles illustrated in this article need to be-
come an integral part of planning behavior if their promises are to be
fully realized. It takes time for an agency to develop a feeling for
affected groups, to extend stable lines of communication, and for groups
to begin to understand their position in the overall problem. Conse-
quently, a one-shot application of collective action analysis should not
be expected to yield its full measure of possible results. A one-shot
analysis does not permit proper feedback or necessary follow-up on
initial findings.
First, consider plan Al. Table 5 shows that Al is poorly received
with high chance of defeat and low chance of success, under a wide
range of CASM conditions. Proposal Al seems to provide very little for
any participant except possibly certain agricultural and developmental
interests, who would like to see past investment trends continue into
the future. This demonstrates one of the accomplishments of collective
action analysis, that is an early screening of clearly unpopular pro-
In addition to early screening, the analysis can be used to uncover
basic forces which tend to move programs in one direction or another.
These forces include, among others, (1) dominant and/or confounding
issues, (2) new unidentified issues and actors, and (3) various compli-
cating features of the local decision situation.
Looking at issues separately, Figure 3 plots the probability of
success and tie/stalemate (likelihood of outright defeat now shown) ver-
sus the "scaled" level of selected issues (5) through (8). Plan accept-
ability seems to increase as water quality (5) and marsh preservation
(6) increase. Acceptability decreases as recreational opportunity (7)
and "structural" flood control (8) increase.
But, there is not enough evidence yet to point to any issue as a
dominant force. Each issue was primarily a politicized concern of one
or more of the participants interviewed. For instance, looking at
graph (5), acceptability increases not only as water quality alone im-
proves, it also increases as a result of the interactions of other


Table 1. Issue* Salience Ranking for Each Participant, IBEST(k)

First Second Third

1. Cattlemen No. 1 3 7 7
2. Cattlemen No. 2 3 8 1
3. Citrus Growers 2 3 3
4. Home Developers 4 8 1
5. Game and Fish Commission 2 6 5
6. EPA 5 6 5
7. Audubon Society 6 5 7
8. League of Women Voters 1 4 5
9. Brevard County Commission 1 8 7
10. Flood Control District 8 2 1
11. Corps of Engineers 8 2 1
12. Melbourne Council--Pro 1 1 8
13. Melbourne Council--Con 4 1 5
14. Melbourne Citizens--Pro 1 1 8

Numerals like 3, 7, and 7 for Participant No. 1 (i. e., "Cattlemen
No. 1") refer to the set of identified central issues. For example,
central issue number 3 is "Agricultural Production."

Table 2. Power Coefficients for Each Participant, POWCOF.


1. Cattlemen No. 1 0.053
2. Cattlemen No. 2 0.033
3. Citrus Growers 0.079
4. Home Developers 0.079
5. Game and Fish Commission 0.092
6. EPA 0.105
7. Audubon Society 0.118
8. League of Women Voters 0.072
9. Brevard County Commission 0.046
10. Flood Control District 0.092
11. Corps of Engineers 0.046
12. Melbourne Council--Pro 0.079
13. Melbourne Council--Con 0.066
14. Melbourne Citizens--Pro 0.040

Sum 1.000


w m 0oo co0o oo co o 000 000

P 000 000 000 000 000 000 000
JZ/ -\ --s ~ -^ ^t/

Sooo r -V r Mo c: oo o oo
z r.

0oo oo ooo omo omo oo om

8 8m# 8 # 0

H 000 000 000 000 000 000 000

o a cOO Bo o a cO oaoo oO )

0 E-H u > > r>

Q 00 000 0m0 w 00O 00 0 i

o 0 8 OS a r 8 '1 8 t *' H S
o- 1- w. H Hd

.0 o0

000 000 000 000 000 000 0

'0 '0 a) C a
& 0) I

H Ot O 0 10) 3
l a e I

$4 C 4c 00
000 00 000 000 00 a 000

Sn Z) H
0*r ) 60 t

2 0 n a 0 M 0 000 n 0 < O 3 < vO 0MO a 0 o I |

0 QD 0>DC 0 Z00 0CD0 Z 0 0X O a 0 r Q )lU

to th M EA *^n

EH 3: C ) E4 ) 4



Table 4. A Summary of "Scaled"* St. Johns Plans, SHARE.

(1) (2) (3) (4)

1. Al 0.45 0.10 0.90 0.80
2. A3 0.60 0.75 0.65 0.80
3. A4 0.80 0.25 0.70 0.80
4. B1 0.80 0.60 0.60 0.80
5. B2 0.60 0.90 0.55 0.80
6. D2 0.80 0.15 0.40 0.35

(5) (6) (7) (8)

1. Al 0.35 0.35 0.30 0.20
2. A3 0.40 0.65 0.60 0.55
3. A4 0.60 0.65 0.40 0.50
4. B1 0.40 0.20 0.50 0.80
5. B2 0.35 0.20 0.70 0.90
6. D2 0.80 0.95 0.20 0.50

Entries in this table range from 0.0 (none) to 1.0 (maximum attainable).


Table 5. Probability* of SUCCESS** for Each St. Johns Plan
Under Various Social Choice Conditions


Al A3 A4 B1 B2 D2 Al A3 A4 Bl B2 D2


One-way conflict 15 64 100 86 62 100 0 1 97 62 20 100
Two-way conflict 10 100 100 100 100 100 0 7 99 100 49 100
No conflict 7 100 96 86 100 100 0 6 88 74 59 100
One-way conflict 7 96 100 100 100 96 0 10 98 100 45 91
Two-way conflict 22 100 100 100 100 97 0 17 99 100 89 99
No conflict 16 100 100 100 100 100 0 1 96 100 38 100


One-way conflict 0 6 29 30 10 53 0 0 12 9 0 56
Two-way conflict 0 84 93 79 79 94 0 4 82 64 30 100
No conflict 9 100 100 84 100 100 0 2 93 77 50 100

One-way conflict 0 16 38 23 16 6 0 0 21 12 0 17
Two-way conflict 2 95 97 90 100 83 0 1 91 90 34 86
No conflict 14 100 100 100 100 100 0 3 98 100 46 100

2/3 RULE:

One-way conflict 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 1
Two-way conflict 0 0 53 2 0 46 0 0 20 0 0 39
No conflict 0 46 75 11 0 79 0 0 22 0 0 77
One-way conflict 0 0 5 3 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0
Two-way conflict 0 12 74 24 0 26 0 0 36 12 0 28
No conflict 0 80 90 48 0 74 0 0 49 27 0 71

Probability expressed as a percent.
** Probability of DEFEAT or TIE/STALEMATE not shown.







I I i I *
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.i
Water Quality (5)

---- Probability of Success



6 0.6


0.2 /

0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8
Recreational Opportunity

Figure 3. Response to St.





-4 0.6



I I I I |
3 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
Marsh Preservation (6)

------Probability of No Winners

1 without

0.8 w

0.4 with

0.2 --


i |I I i
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
Flood Control (8)

Issues Number (5) Through (8)




s irrigation
-: ~ ..j ___. .-




groups simultaneously pursuing other issues. In fact, with this version
of CASM there exists an eight-dimensional set of possible important in-
teractions. Thus, a single curve in Figure 3 should be viewed as the
projection of a curved surface in 8-space onto a particular axis. Cause-
and-effect between a given issue and its acceptability can be understood
only in the context of other interacting issues.
The graphs in Figure 4 begin to explore selected two-way interac-
tions. For example, as irrigation and flood control increase both
water quality and marsh preservation decrease. (This was a technical
judgement of the survey team.) Moreover, if we can employ probability
of success as a measure of the desirable tradeoff, then this figure be-
gins to isolate those areas of successful "proposal space" where
planners might begin to focus their concern.
But, is it that simple? For instance, plan D2 was generally well
received and enjoyed a 100 percent chance of success (on this graph).
D2, remember, was that plan which would have set aside the virgin flood-
plain as an area free from development. But, much of this region has
already been developed, and as a consequence, D2 would also require
extensive expenditures. Such a proposal might be well received in cer-
tain preservation circles, however, reason suggests that the attendant
hardships would surely disfavor plan D2, at least for this point in
Given this, why does the arena respond so favorably to D2? On
closer inspection D2 provides a little something for nearly everyone
along the eight major issues identified. Thus, since they consider
only their own primary concerns, many supporters for D2 can be found.
What is missing from the analysis is the nature of tradeoffs involved.
Each group is generally unaware of what he might have to forfeit as a
result of his attachment to D2 and his pursuit of short term goals.
What does this type of analysis accomplish? It clarifies and
illuminates important factors in the planning situation and provides
the overarching framework within which these issues can be studied. It
emphasizes that a range of participants, each with a stake and power in
the conflict, view the problem differently; moreover, we can now begin
to piece together the ways in which these diverse views and values
interact around certain central driving issues. Given this ability to
unify fragments of a water management problem it becomes thinkable to
consider the distribution of advantages and disadvantages. Each plan
carries with it a profile of consequences for each participant. How do
they respond? And what do these responses mean for planning activities
and the state of the system? Which distributions seem fair and just
and what criteria were used for this assessment?
A feeling for winners and losers can be gained from Table 5. If an
entire group can be stereotyped by its leader, then those groups with
dominant environmental concerns lose three times and win once out of six
proposed plans. The one win was for D2, an eliminated plan. Thus,
environmental interests lose outright in 50 percent of the plans, basing
this on their overt objections. Most participants want a moderate level
of environmental protection but those who insist on higher levels of
environmental quality cannot muster sufficient support in their favor.
The full complement of results from CASM have not been presented


(1.0) 1.

(1.0) 0.64) i

with ut wi 62
irrig tion ir

(0.86) (0.62)

0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
Irrigation (2) Flood Control (8)

NOTE: Numbers in Parentheses Represent Probability of Success


(1.0) 0.8- "(1.0)

(1.0) irrigatic
(1.0) -(1.0)

(0.86) (0.86)
S (0.64)
Al (0.62) Al with (0.62)
0.2 irrigation

0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8
Irrigation (2)

1.0 0

0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
Flood Control (8)

Issues Expressed as

Figure 4. Tradeoffs Between Selected St. Johns
a Probability of Success



Z 0.6-

" 0.4-









Table 6. A Ranking and Leadership Summary for Each Upper
St. Johns Plan


Soft Line Hard Line Soft Line Hard Line

D2 100 100 94 100
A4* 100 97 93 82 SEEMINGLY
Bl* 86 62 79 64 ACCEPTABLE

A3** 64 1 83 4
B2** 62 20 79 30 SEEMINGLY

Complete reservoir drawdown, no irrigation storage.
** Reservoir storage provided and used for irrigation water.
1One-way conflict
2Two-way conflict.
Two-way conflict.


Yes No Tie

D2 100 0 0 EPA* WIN Citrus LOSE
A4 100 0 0 Melb. Coun. Pro WIN mixed** LOSE
Bl 86 8 6 Melb. Coun. Pro WIN Audubon* LOSE
A3 64 23 13 Resid. Develop. WIN Game & Fish Comm* LOSE
B2 62 0 38 FCD WIN Game & Fish Comm* LOSE
Al 15 83 2 Cattlemen No. 1 LOSE FCD WIN

Groups with dominant environmental concerns.
** Mixed: Citrus growers 61%, FCD 16%, COE 12%, Melbourne Council--
Con 8%, Audubon 2%, EPA 1%.


here--nor has the complete analysis. Burke (1974) should be consulted
for a more indepth presentation. However, the preceding remarks do, in
fact, illustrate the manner in which a particular type of social choice
analysis might be carried out.
The social sciences naturally lag behind the physical sciences with
respect to the development of universal laws and quantitative methods.
Because of this, most of us harbor a certain amount of hesitation about
the usefulness of sociological analysis. However, much can be learned
at this stage of development, by examining the socio-political over-
layer, even though our methodological tools may sometimes seem inade-
quate for this purpose. Thus, the findings presented in this article
were intended to encourage others to pursue social choice analysis more
actively, as a part of water resource analysis.
VI. References Cited
Bulkley, J. W. and R. T. McLaughlin. Simulation of Political Interaction
in Multiple-Purpose River-Basin Development, Report No. 100, Hydro-
dynamics Laboratory, Department of Civil Engineering, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Cambridge, October 1966, 307 pp.
Burke, Roy, III. A Behavioral Approach to Water Resource Management,
Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences,
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, June 1974.
Burke, Roy, III and James P. Heaney. Collective Decision Making in
Water Resource Planning, Lexington Books, D. C. Heath and Company,
Lexington, Massachusetts, 1975, 260 pp.

Heaney, James P., et al. Socio-Economic Studies of the Upper St. Johns
River Basin, Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District,
Jacksonville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville,
Florida, July 1974.
McLaughlin, John James. A Study of the Social Aspects of Water Re-
sources Management in the Upper St. Johns River Basin, Master's Thesis,
Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences, University of
Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 1975, 175 pp.

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