Title: Judicial Views on Comprehensive Development by the United States
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00003121/00001
 Material Information
Title: Judicial Views on Comprehensive Development by the United States
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: President's Water Resources Policy Commission
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Richard Hamann's Collections - Judicial Views on Comprehensive Development by the United States
General Note: Box 12, Folder 9 ( Water Resources Law - Vol #3 - 1950 ), Item 39
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00003121
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

The value of the Authority lies in providing the only
method by which all the uses of the river can be brought
within reach of the public.
TVA's operating divisions are organized into four principal
groupings: those having to do with water control in the chan-
nel; those dealing with land rehabilitation and water control
on the land; those dealing with power transmission and utiliza-
tion; and those dealing with health, recreation, and community
TVA represents a unique type of governmental organization
for resource development. Its former Chairman, David Lilen-
thal, has stated that the three essential features of the TVA
idea are:"
A federal autonomous agency, with authority to make
its decisions in the region.
Responsibility to deal with resources, as a unified
whole, clearly fixed in the regional agency, not divided
among several centralized federal agencies.
A policy, fixed by law, that the federal regional agency
work cooperatively with and through local and state

Judicial Views on Comprehensive Development
by the United States
We have previously discussed numerous cases which have
affirmed federal authority to regulate or control many aspects
of water-resource development.'0" Among them, two recent
decisions of the Supreme Court merit particular note here.
Under the Office of Chief Engineer are the divisions of Water Control Plan-
ning, Design, and Construction. Under the OfZce of Manager of Power are
the divisions of Power Utilization, Power Operations, and Power Engineering
and Construction. The Office of Chief Conservation Engineer controls the
divisions of Chemical Engineering, Agricultural Relations, and Forestry Re-
lations. The Office of Manager of Reservoir and Community Relations has
charge of the divisions of Regional Studies, Health and Safety, and Reser-
voir Properties.
SLilienthal, TVA--DMzocBRr ON TrE MAnC, p. 153 (1944).
See sumra, pp. 5-72.


In the 1940 New River opinion, the Court said that: .
navigable waters are subject to national planning and
control in the broad regulation of commerce granted the
Federal Government.
The following year in the Denison Dam case, the Court de-
elared that it is for Congress alone to decide whether a particular
project "by itself or as part of a more comprehensive scheme"
will have such a beneficial effect on the arteries of interstate
commerce as to warrant it." And there is no constitutional
reason, the Court held, why Congress cannot treat the: "
watersheds as a key to flood control on navigable streams
and their tributaries. Nor is there a constitutional ne-
cessity for viewing each reservoir project in isolation
from a comprehensive plan covering the entire basin of
a particular river.

Comprehensive development, as applied to water resources
and related land uses, may be defined as basin-wide develop-
ment for optimum beneficial uses of a river system and its
GaowTH UYrim WOBRm Wan I.-The natural unity between
a river system and its watershed has been accorded varying and
increasing recognition in legislation dating back to the latter
par of the 19th century. Statutes of this period recognized
various combinations of such purposes as navigation, food
control, irrigation, power development forest protection,
debris control, and water supply.
Legislative attention to conservation and development of
water resources increased with the turn of the century. In
the years immediately preceding World War I, several legisla-
tive and' executive commissions were appointed to study the
question of river development for multiple purposes and to
recommend legislation for such development.
0 United.States v. Appal oMan Blectri Power Co., 811 U. S. 877, 426-427
(1940), reh. den., 312 U. S. 712 (1941).
4 Oklahoma v. Atkinson, 818 U. 508, 527 (1941).
4 313 U. S. at 525.

Beginning in 1909, Congress required that reports on ex-
aminations and surveys for navigation works contain data con-
cerning terminal and transfer facilities, the development and
utilization of water power, and "such other subjects as may
be properly connected with such project." It provided, how-
ever, that consideration of these questions shall be given only
to their bearing upon the improvement of navigation, to the
possibility and desirability of their being coordinated in a
logical and proper manner with improvements for navigation
to lessen the cost of such improvements and to compensate the
Government for navigation expenditures, and as added by 1912
statute, to their relation to the development and regulation of
Since 1917, all flood-control examinations and surveys must
include a comprehensive study of the watershed, and ascertain
the extent and character of the area to be affected by the pro-
posed improvement,, the probable:effect upon navigation, the
possible development and utilization of water power, and "such
other uses as may be properly related to or coordinated with
the project."
Also in 1917, legislation was passed creating a Waterways
Commission and directing it to prepare "a comprehensive plan
or plans for the development of waterways and the water re-
sources of the United States for the purposes of navigation and
for every useful purpose." Largely because of American par-
ticipation in World War I, however, the Commissioners were
never appointed, and the legislation was repealed in 1920 by
the Federal Power Act.
ter Act, the Federal Power Commission has broad authority
to make investigations and collect data concerning the "utili-
zation of the water resources in any region to be developed."
Moreover, a condition of a license for nonfederal power de-
velopment requires that the project adopted be such as will be
best adapted to a "comprehensive plan for improving or de-
veloping" the waterway for navigation, power development,
and other beneficial uses.

In 1927, the Army Engineers were authorized to formulate
general plans for the most effective improvement of a large
number of specified streams for the purpose of navigation and
the prosecution of such improvement in combination with the
most efficient development of potential water power, the con-
trol of floods and the needs of irrigation.
FROM THE "DEPRESSION" TO DATE.-The "depression" fo-
cused attention on a new aspect of river-basin development.
Projects were undertaken as a means of putting men to work,
as well as to conserve and develop water resources. Increased
emphasis was placed upon the public utilization of the com-
pleted projects for the direct benefit of the greatest number of
Responsibility for carrying out particular aspects of river-
basin development had been assigned to separate agencies with-
out a requirement for integration of efforts under a comprehen-
sive plan. But as the development of larger river-improvement
projects was made possible by advances in engineering meth-
ods, as populations in river basins increased, as industry ex-
panded, and as our economy grew more complex-increasing
legislative recognition was given to the multiple-purpose utili-
zation of projects.
Steps were also taken to allocate primary responsibility for
each of the functions served by any project to the agency tradi-
tionally responsible for that function, irrespective of which was
the constructing agency.
Congress also declared its policy to "facilitate the considera-
tion of projects on a basis of comprehensive and coordinated
development." Generally, however, the partial implementa-
tions of this policy have been in the directions indicated above
rather than complete integration of efforts for comprehensive
tory limitations, further steps toward comprehensive develop-
ment have been effected through executive and administrative
action directed toward coordination of efforts. Principal
among such steps was the formation of the Federal Inter-

SAgency River Basin Committee by an agreement among the
principal agenciesinvolved in river development.
This Committee reviews and seeks to coordinate agency
activities respecting basin programs, ibut cannot resolve any
conflict inherent in statutory requirements. Nor can it require
the agencies to conform to its decisions.
The President, through review by the Bureau of the Budget
and through executive directives, has also sought to coordinate
the project proposals and programs of the different agencies.
In addition, department heads have effectuated considerable
coordination of planing and operations within statutory limits.
The Reorganization Apt of 1949 permits certain transfers and
consolidations of functions and agencies, but does not furnish
the further authority necessary for a full reconciliation of statu-
tory conflicts encountered in asin development.,
FEDERAL-STATE CCOORDINATION.--Comprehensive develop-
ment necessarily affects both federal and state activities. Con-
gress has repeatedly declared its policy to recognize the rights
and interests of the states in the development of water
Water-resource policies vary not only in. accordance with' the
princial purpose for which a project is authorized, but they
also difft&i rom basin to basin. At times and for various reasons,
devetopienit of more than one basii may be encompassed in a
single plan. Thus, provision has been made for coordinated,
multiple-agency surveys for the Arkansas-White and Red
River Basins, Mnd for the New England-New York Region for
the purpose d' developing comprehensive, integrated plans of
improvement for many related purposes:
iIn the Alabama-Coosa Basin several agencies are 'pur-
suing their separate developmental programs independently.
SIn the Central Valley of California, plans for basin-wide devel-
opment have been prepared by both the Bureau of Reclama-
tion and the Army Engineers. The Bureau of Reclamation
has principal responsibility for preparing a "comprehensive
scheme" for water-resource development in the Colorado Ba*in.

In the Columbia Basin, only the initial units of the Army
Engineer portion of a coordinated Army Engineer-Bureau of
Reclamation basin-wide plan has been approved. And various
inconsistent statutes govern the marketing of federal power
produced in this area.
Certain planning in the Delaware and Potomac Basins is
being promoted by interstate commissions created by the
states. On the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, the principal
improvements are those prosecuted by the Army Engineers.
Important also are the efforts of an interstate commission to
control pollution in the Ohio River. A composite of Army
Engineer and Bureau of Reclamation plans has been approved
for the Missouri Basin. Certain responsibilities concerning
land utilization are vested in the Bureau of Reclamation and
the Department of Agriculture. The basis for development of
the Rio Grande rests largely upon a treaty between the United
States and Mexico.
For the Tennessee Valley, a regional agency has been vested
with all functions directly related to river development, as
well as some functions indirectly related. In the discharge
of its responsibilities, it is guided by one set of laws covering
all aspects of its task.
UNITED STATES.-The Supreme Court of the United States has
said that "navigable waters are subject to national planning
and control in the broad regulation of commerce granted the
Federal Government." It is for Congress alone, the Court
pointed out, to decide whether a particular project "by itself or
as a part of a more comprehensive scheme" will have such a
beneficial effect on the arteries of interstate commerce as to
warrant it.

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