- 233 -
Functions of Certain State and Local agencies and Organizations
Various functions, powers, and duties of a number of State and
local agencies and organizations which have a role in the handling of
the State's water resources have been described earlier under relevant
* topics. For example, the powers and duties granted by legislation to
various agencies and organizations in connection with the problem of
pollution have been discussed under Pollution, while agencies and
organizations authorized to provide or concerned with public water
supply facilities have been discussed under Municipal or Public Water
Following is a brief description of the powers and duties of cer-
tain other agencies and organizations which have various functions with
respect to water resources. Some of the functions of some of these
r agencies or organizations have already been discussed under relevant
State Board and Department of Conservation and Development.
The State's Department of Conservation and Development, which was
created in 1925, is under the control and management of a 16-member Board
of Conservation and Development. Its powers and duties include:
(1) By investigation, recommendation and publication, to pro-
mote the conservation and development of natural resources, com-
merce, and industry, and a more profitable use of lands, forests,
and waters. Investigations may be made of the coasts, ports,
water supplies and water powers, and other natural, industrial,
and commercial resources of the State., The Board or Department
may cooperate'with the State Utilities Commission, other State
agencies, and counties and municipalities in making such
591/ N.C.G.S. sec. 113-1, et. seq.
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.(2) To coordinate "scientific investigations and other re-
lated agencies' in o6.dr -bo help-develop sound policies and to
inform the public. 5 -
(3).To issue permits for irrigation purposes (as described
under Irrigation, ante). .
(4) To enforce the laws relating to the cbmnercial fishery. 56/
(See: Fishing, ante) -
(5) 1To have charge of the. protection of lands and water sup-
plies through the preservation of forests and to t ke' ,arf of,
State forests and parks and other State recreational areas,
including certain lakes. j/'
(6) To obtain or rent certain swmp and marsh lands from the.
State Board of EdPucat en. -,/ (See Navigable Waters, ante.)
The Department has a director, under the Board's supervision, who
may employ a, State. Geologist, a State Forester, and other assistants.
The Department now has a Division of Water Resources, Inlets and Coastal
Waterways and a Committee by tbe same name serves under the Board. The
Division of Water Resources, etc. makes investigations regardin surface
waters, while the State Geologist investigates groundwaters. Among
other things, the Division, to date, has participated in the publication
of reports on the.water resources, uses, and related aspects of 3
j2g Reports issued, by the. epartment in cooperation with other State
agencies include (1) "Water Resources of North Carlinai': (1955) and (2)
"State and Federal Water lws, and Considerations Affecting. Future Legis-
lation" (1956), (3) reports on the water resources, uses,'and related
aspects of three: river basins,, discussed belpw, all published coopera-
tively by the Division of an Comi ttee ,on Water Resources, Inlets, and
Waterways, of. the Department and Board of Conservation and Development,
5/ GN.C.G.S. sec. 143-237, et. seq.
12 Based in part. onN.C .G. sec. 146-7 and' 146-8.
5MIN.C.G.S. sec.. 143-237, et.. seq. Qther functiops include coopera-
tion with the Federal Power CortIssion, as discussed under Navigable
Waters, ante, and with Federal agencies and agencies of other States in
connection with waters passing from one State to another. For a more
complete description of this Department's various functions, see "State
and Federal Water Laws and Considerations Affecting Future Legislation,"
op. cit., pp. 6-7.
599/ Based on "State and Federal Water Laws and Considerations Affect-
ing Future Legislation," op. cit., p. 6.
of the State's 10 river basins, as well as a Statewide report.
State Board of Water Commissioners .
In 1955 the Legislature created a Board of Water Commissioners.
The powers and duties of the Board include the following: (1) to "carry
out a program of planning, research, and education concerning the most
beneficial aonuiee conOf ^ use o1 the1
the State," including egislat ive or other recommendations for improve-
ment, (2) to maintain a general inventory of the State's water resources,
and (3) to make recommendations to alleviate potential water shortages
or emergencies affecting the wate supply of any municipality or other
governmental unit and tode request of any such body,
that a water emergency exists. In the event of such declaration the
Governor may declare an emergency in such area and the Board may author-
ize emergency diversions of water to take care of the needs of human
a n -ma 1a. W"^*^'-^*^'-*"** ***Jta^ ^rf^"- :qew J1 ='*.-. m I'" ..
consumption, necessary sanitation, ad i. The Board also
Shas certain regularity powers over the exercise of condemnation by
Water and Sever Authorities. (See Condemnation and Related Proceedings,
ante .. .
I The Board is to submit a report biennually to the Governor and
General Assembly. The Board shall consist of 7 members appointed by
the Governor, who also designates the chairman. At least one shall
"represent the interests of" agricultifre the electric power industry,
other industry, and municipalities, respectively. (This differs
6 / (1) "Water Resources of North Carolina, (2) 'Water Resources of
North Carolina,. Neuse River Basin," (3) "Water Resources of North
Carolina, Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin," (4) "Water Resources of North
*Carolina, Chowan River Basin," all published cooperatively in 1955 by'
the Division of, and Conmittee on, Water Resources, Inlets, and Water-
ways, of the Department and Board of Conservation and Development,
601/ This theoretically permits the Governor to name four, or a majority,
of the membership from any one segment of the State's economy, although
in practice this would be unlikely.
-. 236' -
somewhat fromjthe State.l S ea I S nttati Counp.ttee. ;whee t, least one
member shall be "trained and experienced." in a lrticular subject-matter
area. (See Pollution, alter,) -Tue regular terof offi, sbal be 6
years 1 ahe(Bard shall: b ave.an Ad4.ory. CcAlttee copsisting of 8 desig-
nated State officials (the Conanissioner of-ASriculture, the Director of
the Agricaltuani Extension; Service, the Director of the Department ,of
Conser~taon and Development, the State .Spil Cons erv~t ist., the
Secretary- of.he tate;.oard -of .ealtg, the .Diretor of ae, State ,
Recreat14 :tCowiu.ssipon, ,e ..Executive Secretary of the Stream Sanitation
Committee, and the xecutiVep Director of thep mldltfe Resources Commis-
sion),, and .a,-so 5 menbew s thte -jeneral, j sebly, +(3 frgq the.H house and 2
from the;:Seate) appointed by the Governor, a s. .least one of whom shall
represent bthe, nteret ,of industry, the .eleqtrl. power industry, and
muni ,palities respectively,. .. .. .
*embers.Qf the Boardre .to receive o., pensation other than a
$10 peer,.4rd ,p agloaan e and reglar.,Sta e. travel), hensee Board ma
e.ploy a. ;full,-tie executive secretary and s8 ; pther prsonnel. as may:
be necessary to carry out the purposes of the Act creating it (subject
to .the State Personnel a .4 Executive Budget acts). APy member qfr the
Board, or.eren Autlhopze by it, emy enber private or .public lands or,
waters. to make pertinent 4nyestigatLons, subject to responsibility for
any faage doap. to property entered .,i .. ..
State -.tiaMfe Re;soiurce&CqMs, ..,.,
A State- Wl~l24fe Resources .CommissinP consisting-.ef n.e. -a ars
I, .'.s t. +,
supervision grant to t~i ,were trana~erred from the DepartLent -ad Board
602 N.C.G.S5..(1955 see 53 .b .
602iN.C.G.S. (1955 Supp) sec. 1lI3u3it'T et. seq. ". I I "
Sof Conservation and Development, except for the supervision of laws relat-
ing to commercial fish and fisheries. :(Administration of State laws
relating to pollution of streams or public waters remained with the State
Z Stream Sanitation Committee and the State Board of Health, whose functions
are discussed under Pollution, ante.) The Commission's function is to
"manage, restore, develop, cultivate, conserve, protect, and regulate the
t wildlife resources of the State of North Carolina, and to administer the
laws relating to game, game and fresh-water fishes, and other wildlife
exclusive of commercial fisheries, enacted by the General Assembly to
the end that there may be provided a sound, constructive, comprehensive,
continuing, and economical game, game fish, and wildlife program directed
by qualified, competent, and representative citizens who shall have
knowledge of or training in the protection, restoration, proper use and
management of wildlife resources.".
State Prts Authority.
The State Ports Authority, which shall be governed by a board of
seven members appointed by the Governor, has been granted broad powers
and duties to promote the development and improvement of harbors, sea-
ports, and inland ports, and the increase of water-borne commerce
between or through such harbors and ports. It is authorized to cooperate'
with other port authorities and Federal agencies, to issue negotiable
revenue bonds and obtain Federal loans, to lease or buy property and to
condemn rights of way and other property necessary for the construction
603/ N.C.G.S. sec. 143-237 et. seq.
0 N.C.G.S. sec. 143-216 et. seq.
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State Recreation Commission.
The State Recreation Commission, among other functions, shall
cooperate in the organization o-. local recreational systems and in aiding
them in laying out recreational areas and establishing and promoting
recreation standards. It may cooperate with other State agencies in
order to carry out its object .ves and responsibilities, but no action
taken by it shall be allowed ;o interfere with the work of any other
State agency. At least one r amber of the Commission shall be a woman,
and one a Negro. Members ar t appointed by the Governor, who shall also
appoint a Recreation Advisoz Committee to advise the Commission.
Public Utilities Commission.
The State's Public Utilities Commission, among other functions, has
been given general supervision over rates charged and services provided by
water power and hydroelectric companies, canal companies, and companies
which haul freight by water or operate public sewage systems, but not:
municipalities. It may also provide for the location, establishment,
operation, and maintenance of water gauging stations, and the reporting
of stream flow and other data obtained therefrom. It may cooperate with
the State Department of Conservation and Development in this regard.
Soil Conservation Districts.
Legislation enables the establishment of Soil Conservation Districts
principally for the purpose of preventing and controlling soil erosion-
by wind and water. The enabling legislation declares, among other
things, the Legislature's policy to prevent or control soil erosion and
"thereby to preserve natural resources, control floods, prevent impair-
ment of dams and reservoirs, assist in maintaining the navigability of
60 N.C.G.S. sec. 143-205 et. seq.
0 N.C.G.S. sec. 62-97.
SN.C.G.S. sec. 139-1 et. seq.
rivers and harbors, 'preserve wild lify," and obtain other benefits. It"
further declares that such soil erosion may result in "the silting and
sedimentation of stream channels, reservoirs, dams, ditches, and harbors
. loss of soil and water a diminishing of the underground
water reserve .and increase in the speed and volume of rainfall
run-off, causing severe and increasing floods and losses in
navigation, hydroelectric power, municipal water supply, drainage ~
developments, farming, and grazing." It further provides that appro-
priate corrective measures include "construction of terraces, terrace
outlets, check-dams, dikes, ponds, ditches, .farm drainage (and)
A State Soil Conservation Colmittee has been established to, among
other things, assist and advise the local districts -and inform each dis-
trict about the work and experiences of the others.
A soil conservation district may be formed upon the petition of
25 "occupiers of land't lying within the territory proposed as a
district. The petition, shall be made to the State Conservation Committee
which ;shall hold a hearing and approve or reject the -same If approved,
it slfil ,apjpint two temporary supervisors who shall apply to the Secre-
tary of Stkte for a-certificate organizing the district, as a govern-
mental -subdivision of the State. A 3-membeer county soil conservation
committee shli be elected in each county in the district and its mem-
Sbers shall collectively serve as the supervisors of the district
together with certain supervisors which the State committee may appoint.
The powers of such districts include (1) the carrying out of cor-
rective measures such as those enumerated above with the consent of the
608/ This term includes persons holding title to the land or a contract
to purchase it.
- 240 -
occupier or by obtaining the necessary rights or interest in lands
affected; and (2) the promulgation of land-use regulations, upon the
approval of two-thirds of the votes cast in a referendum and compliance
with certain other requirements. Such regulations may include provi-
sions requiring the Construction of necessary "terraces, terrace outlets,
check dams, dikes, ponds, ditches, and other structures." The super-
visors may provide by ordinance that any land occupier who is damaged by
another's violation of such regulations may recover damaged at law, and
the supervisors may themselves bring suit to require conformance by the
occupier of the land or' to obtain authority to construct the necessary
structures at the expense of such land occupier.
It is apparent that the operations of soil conservation districts
may have some relation to a number of the topics discussed above, par-
ticularly Surface Waters,and Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention.
Corporations and Cooperatives.
Legislation provides that any three or more persons may form a cor-
poration to conduct any lawful business (with certain immaterial excep-
tions) on complying with certain requirements, and also expressly
provides that any five or more persons may form a "mutual" association
or company for the purpose of conducting any agricultural, mining,
manufacturing, electric light, power, refrigeration, fire fighting,
"flume, irrigation, water, sewerage," or certain other businesses "on
the mutual plan." However, as no powers of condemnation are expressly
provided for such purposes (unless they qualify as public water supply
and sewerage companies,- See Condemnation, ante), such organizations
609/ N.C.G.S. sec. 55-1, et. seq.
610/ N.C.G.S. sec. 54-111, et. seq.
* presumably are subject to :substantially the sase limitations with respect
to the use of water from a watercourse or other source of water as their
individual members, except to the extent that such rights may be validly
modified or affected by contractual arrangements among such persons.
(See Other Cobtractual .Artranementsj ante.)
Neuse River Water she A hriLty
SThe' legislature In 1953 established the Neuse River Watershed
Authority to promote the mutual interests of the eight counties,
and several towns, cities, and communities in the :watershed area of the
ia) In preventing f-loods; J- C .
(b) In ^ Frgwala lfy Pfttr tF T
and d4epeenng -the same;
(c) In rdcaimiora fiU r la et, m0i& Gfrwftnw j-Tmd ^ .
(d) In providing for irrigation where it may be needed;
e) I 0ut .Ui^ ^ a^ the
es "% ereof; .
(f) In diverting inwhole or in part eliminating water-
(g) It'pS n1 T ft6Z d^^stinc; id
an4 public use;
(h) In ovi 'or the collesti ad disposing of
sewae and we Ar -
(4 ) .er'
1 of the Gen~ral Statutes relating to soil conser-
vation s .
The Act expressly does not purport "to terminate the existence of
any drainage district or soil conservation district or watershed
authority heretofore organized, or to authorize the development or con-
sideration of the development of hydroelectric power.
It is not clear from this legislation just how such authority
might validly and effectively accomplish such things as the regulation of
stream flows of the providing of water from streams for irrigation of
nonriparian lands. '
1/ Thi. counties Involved are"Durham, Wake, oohnston,' Wayiey'Lenoir,
Greene, Jones, and Craven.
612/ N.C. Session Laws, 1953, Ch. 1115, as amended by Ch. 1319.
The Authority is authorized to enter into agreements with the
counties, cities, and towns within the area for compensating the
Authority in an amount reasonably commensurate with any projects
intended to conserve and develop the water resources of the area, and
may also enter into agreements with Federal or State agencies.
The Authority may "accept title to and all rights and interests
in lands ." But no powers of condemnation are expressly provided
in the relevant Act. Nor may the Authority "bind as members the
board of county commissioners of any of the several counties or the
governing bodies of the cities and towns," except under agreements and
contracts with them. The Act provides that the powers granted to the
Authority are in addition to, not in substitution for, other powers of
the counties and cities concerned.- It is problematical whether con-
demnation powers held by cities for doing any of the things listed
above may be employed by the Authority. (See Condemnation and Related.
The governing body of the Authority- shall consist of two members
appointed by the Board of County Commissioners of each county in the
watershed. They also may by joint action with the mayors of all the
towns appoint two advisory members from each county. Most of the
Authority's activities, as of August 1, 1956, appear to have been con-
cerned primarily with making a survey of the water resources and uses
in the area.
613/ The Act expressly provides that the powers of counties to clean out
and drain nonnavigable streams and swamp areas to promote health under
certain conditions (See Drainage, ante) may be employed in support of the
Authority's work, without any limitations regarding population.
- 242 -
* John B.H1frr Res ertir Devel Cotmmjt ssion. C p:
ht:: Cocuiission, PviPOgtaly i~aled'thnBauggs Isltan&~kDeelopment ..
Commission, hhai been established by the :Legtelature to promote the :,
deveiopmhant :of th 'John Hl Kerr r6edvoir area Ain ortheastern North
CarLiiB ;(n6sihet&i edges o"f Gaai llle, Vance, and WEaTre- Coer kies)., by
making, studies and te'eOtrienaattsns to the State' s DepaartmeItr of Conserva-
tion- anad Developiet, Wildlife Resources .Cobmmnisioa a-and Recreation Com-
missibn.i Itia.y also advise. o ,ter Stateragienblee ine connection -ith the.
area's development, but "shall not in any manner take over. or spplant
any agencies in 'thetr bk i~ this. areaa ,,'except th at it ,my be dele-
gated the authority. tor catrol ans develop the uttbush, Comeervation
Area. under certain conditions, '' -
State Painig oar ; ... .
The State Planning Board has been established as an advisory. .
agehey 6,f thel State, under the direction of the' Governor. Itsy func-
tions inzluae imkfiang 'studies- of matters relating to the general develop-
ment bf the Stath or regioba wi nhthi~ State br' regions of-' which the.
N. ",.. . s ".-, :.1 .
State is a part, and to make reports, proposed legislation, or :make qth4r
recommendations. It may cooperate with other.Federal, State, regional,
or local agencies in this regard. In 1937 it submitted to the
Governor its First Planning Report on Water Resources of the, State, in
which it concluded that the complexity .f the problem and deficiency of
basic data precluded the development at that time of a complete ep-
ordinated plan for future development of the State'ss water resources.
But the belief was expressed that this report would help prepare the |
way for the development of a long-time plan., :
Other reported studies dealing with the utilization or develop-
ment of water.resouroes in @Irth Carolina include publications, cited
under the State Board and Department of Conservation and DeWelopment, ,
ante, and one by the Institute for Social Sciences, University -f North N
In addition, .the State Government Reorganization COispeeion ~as
been studying.the functions, responsibilities, andproqrams of State
agencies concerned with water resources and may make a report in the
.61. N.C.G.S. sec. _l3-171 et. seq.
6/ Based on "State and Federal Water laws and Considerations Affect-
ing Future Legislation," op.,cit., p. 27.
617/ "Resource Management in North Carolina," University of North
Carolina, Institute for Research in Social Science (1947).