Title: Some Economic and Poicy Aspects of the Water Use Problem in the Paw Paw Basin
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Title: Some Economic and Poicy Aspects of the Water Use Problem in the Paw Paw Basin
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: The Ronald Press Company
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Richard Hamann's Collection - Some Economic and Poicy Aspects of the Water Use Problem in the Paw Paw Basin
General Note: Box 12, Folder 7 ( The Law of Water Allocation In The Eastern United States - 1956 ), Item 16
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00003064
Volume ID: VID00001
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Full Text

by Raleigh Barlowe*

As I begin this paper, I am struck by its similarity to Hans Christian
Anderson's wonderful sto y of "The Emperor's New Clothes." Like the
emperor's wardrobe, muc of this report is fabricated out of thin air.
This situation has result not because of any desire on my part to per-
petrate a fraud, but rathe because of a lack of the basic data needed for
a detailed analysis of the vater use problem.
This limitation preclu s the use of a benefits-cost analysis. But it
does not prevent speculate n regarding the nature of the economic and pol-
icy problems that will ari e with the increased use of water in the Paw
Paw river basin. The dis ussion of these issues that follows is divided
into three parts. Attention is first given tothe economic importance of
water resources in the Pw Paw area. Consideration is then given to some
types of information need d for a thorough analysis of the water problem
in this area. And finally, ome projections are made to indicate the scope
and nature of the policy i ues that may come up in the future.


The Paw Paw river ba in of southwestern Michigan involves a drainage
area of 446 square miles. This relatively small area enjoys an average
rainfall of 35.5 inches per year, most of which falls during the growing
season. The climate tends to be moderate. Serious droughts are rare.
Most of the area enjoys an above average supply of ground water; and
much of it lies within a fev miles of Lake Michigan.
As these characteristic s suggest, the Paw Paw basin enjoys a good wa-
ter resource base which f r exceeds the average found in most parts of the
United States or Michigan Thus far, very few serious water problems have
arisen in the basin; and mc t of these have resulted from high water and flood
conditions rather from wa er shortages. With the increasing use and im-
portance of water resource s in the area, however, it appears that water might
easily become a factor of occasional strategic importance in the future.
The growing economic importance of water resources can best be il-
lustrated by a few example s involving its principal uses. At the present
time, the most important uses of water in the Paw Paw area can be clas-
sified into four groups: (Z domestic and municipal, (2) industrial and
power generation, (3) recreational, and (4)iagricultural uses.

Professor of Agriculturl Economics, Michigan State University. A research
contribution of the Michigan agricultural Experiment Station.



Domestic and Municipal Uses

According to the 1950 census, the Paw Paw basin supports a population
of approximately 60,000 people. Of this total population, 18,769 people
lived in Benton Harbor at the mouth of the Paw Paw river; 9,095 lived
within the incorporated limits of Coloma, Gobles, Hartford, Lawrence,
Lawton, Paw Paw, and Watervliet; and around 32,500 people lived in the
unincorporated rural portions of the basin.
All of these people use water for domestic purposes; and with the trend
toward population growth and an increasing per capital use of water sup-
plies, we must look forward to an increasing demand for domestic water
supplies. In rural areas, these additional supplies will come for the most
part from individually owned wells.
According to data assembled by the Michigan Water Resources Com-
mission, the various municipalities within the basin pumped an average
of 1,423,500 gallons of water per day from 22 municipal wells during the
1953-54 period. Of this total, an average of 797,500 g.p.d. were used for
domestic, municipal, and sewerage dilution purposes while 526,000 g.p.d.
were used for industrial purposes. Except for the city of Benton Harbor
which draws its water supplies from Lake Michigan, most of the increas-
ing water needs of the municipalities will continue to come from ground

Industrial and Power Uses

Except for Benton Harbor, the Paw Paw basin cannot be classified as
a heavily industrialized area. Even so, it boasts 21 important water-using
industries. Six of these depend upon municipalities for their water sup-
plies while the other 15 reported pumping as much as 9,203,000 g.p.d.
from 42 wells.2 The Watervliet Paper Company-the largest water-using
industry in the basin-pumps 5,000,000 g.p.d. from its 12 wells and uses
considerable additional water from the Paw Paw river in its manufactur-
ing processes. Most of the remaining big water-users are wineries or
food processing plants that use water on a seasonal basis. Hydroelectric
power dams are also operated on an intermittent basis at Paw Paw, Water-
vliet, and Lawrence.
Practically all of the water used for industrial purposes is used for
washing, cooling, and waste disposal purposes. In this respect, very little
water is actually consumed by these uses. Pollution problems have arisen

1. Michigan Water Resources Commission, Water Resources Conditions and
Uses in the Paw Paw River Basin, p. 27, Lansing, 1955. Benton Harbor pumped an
additional 2,368,000 g.p.d. from Lake Michigan of which 1,222,000 g.p.d. were used
for domestic and municipal purposes and 1,146,000 g.p.d. for industrial uses.
2. Ibid., p. 28.


in several cases; and the control of these problems has posed certain lim-
itations on the prospects f r industrial expansion.
Only fragmentary data re available regarding the economic importance
of the water resources used for industrial and power purposes. If no wa-
ter were available for these uses, they would certainly cease to exist.
But some water will always remain for their use. The real question con-
cerns the possible adjustments that these industries can make to situations
involving reduced water su plies. These adjustments would probably re-
sult in higher processing a d waste disposal costs for most industries and
thus weaken their present competitive positions. One can only guess at the
marginal productivity valu. of water for each industry. But general obser-
vations indicate that a goo4 supply of relatively pure water is a necessary
prerequisite for most indu tries and that the availability of an adequate
water supply is one of the rime factors affecting successful industrial
Detailed findings are not available concerning the employment rolls or
gross receipts of the varioCs water-using industries located in the Paw
Paw basin. But an overall measure of the importance of these industries
to the local economy is su gested by the selected census data reported in
Table 1. As this tabulation indicates, the two-thirds of the total basin area
located in Van Buren couni y accounts for 52 percent of the land area and
45 percent of the population i in that county. The 23 percent of the total
area of the basin included n Berrien county accounts for 18 and 19 per-
cent respectively of the la d area and population of that county.
The county data for Van Buren county appear fairly representative for
the entire Paw Paw basin nd can thus be used to indicate the overall im-
portance of processing and manufacturing industries. (Cf. Table 1) Only
42 percent of the people in Van Buren county were classified as rural
farm population by the Cen us in 1950. Twenty-eight percent of the em-
ployed persons worked for manufacturing concerns in 1949 as compared
with 26 percent in agriculture. The 75 manufacturing plants reported in
the county in 1947 (most oM them small plants not classified as major
water-users) employed 2,811 persons, paid out $6.7 million in wages and
salaries, and reported an addition by manufacturing of $12.2 million to
the value of the products tley processed or produced.
These data suggest the >resent importance of industry in the Paw Paw
basin. With the continued industrialization and urbanization of southern
Michigan, many new indus ries will probably locate in this area during the
next few decades. More and more people will fit into the urban and rural
non-farm classifications. And a higher and higher proportion of the total
employment and income of the area will be provided by manufacturing and
other related enterprises. The availability pf adequate water supplies is
only one of the factors that favors these prospective developments. With-
out these supplies, however, very little additional industrial development
could be expected.


TABLE 1. Selected Census Data for Van Buren
and Berrien Counties, Michigan

Item Van Buren county Berrien county

number or number or
value o value of
total total

Land area of county (sq. miles) 604 100 580 100
Approx. area included in Paw
Paw river basin (sq. miles) 317 52 103 18
Total population (1950) 39,184 100 115,702 100
Approx. pop. included in basin 17,639 45 22,068* 19
Urban population 5,629 14 58,182 50
Rural nonfarm population 17,070 44 35,989 31
Rural farm population 16,485 42 21,531 19
Number of families-(1950) 10,795 30,185
Median income in 1949 $2,496 $3,202
Total persons employed-(1950) 14,200 100 45,379 100
agriculture 3,672 26 5,832 13
manufacturing 3,918 28 18,068 40
wholesale, retail trade 2,122 15 7,357 16
transportation, communications
and public utilities 711 5 2,882 6
construction work 902 6 2,228 5
business and personal services 740 5 2,341 5
professional and related work 870 6 3,163 7
finance, insurance, and real
estate 197 1 820 2
other 1,068 8 2,688 6

Number of establishments-(1947) 75 221
Product value added by manu-
facturing $12,206,000 $89,819,000
Number of employees 2,811 18,344
Total salaries and wages $ 6,708,000 $52,784,000
Establishments operating in
1950 with: 0-19 employees 54 132
20-49 employees 8 35
50-99 employees 5 19
100-249 employees 5 13
250 or more employees 2 18

* Total does not include population of Benton Harbor.


STABLE 1. (Continued)

Van Buren County Berrien county
% %
number or f number or of
value total value total

Number of farms-(1950) 3,697 4,774
Commercial farm operators 2,269 3,267
Reported value of farm products
sold in 1949** i $10,191,000 $17,128,000
Retail trade
Number of stores-(1948) 531 1,426
Reported volume of sales $32,454,000 $109,796,000
Wholesale trade
Number of establishments-(1948) 53 149
Reported volume of sales $ 8,318,000 $ 48,163,000
Personal, business and repairi
Number of establishments 126 359
Reported volume of receipt $ 1,179,000 $ 5,124,000

** State-wide data indicate tha; only about half of the actual sales of farm products
were covered in the census re ort for 1949.
Source: U.S. Department of C mmerce, County and City Data Book, 1952.

Recreational Uses

In common with Michigan's "water wonderland" slogan, the water re-
sources of the Paw Paw ba in offer considerable attraction for recrea-
tional uses. Most of the 65 lakes in the area have value for fishing pur-
poses and many are used f r summer cottage and public resort purposes.
Fishing and canoeing are a so popular sports on the Paw Paw river.
No well accepted criteria have been developed for measuring the eco-
nomic value of recreation facilities. But nreasurable or not, the recrea-
tional use of surface water has long since acquired a high priority in the
value system of local residents. With our incr easing population, rising
real incomes, shorter world weeks, and additional vacations-with-pay, the
economic significance of this use will likely increase with the passing
years. As a result, the recreational interests of this area and the state at
large can be expected to op ose any activity that will limit or infringe upon
the recreational values noi associated with the use of surface waters.


Agricultural Uses

Agriculture provides one of the most dramatic examples of an increas-
ing demand for water resources. The farmers of the Paw Paw basin have
always depended on surface or ground waters to water their livestock and
they have had a continuous need for rainfall and other precipitation to en-
sure normal crop growth. Up until a relatively recent period, these uses
marked a limit to the use of water for agricultural purposes. Beginning in
1929 and particularly since World War II, however, a great deal of atten-
tion has been given to the use of water for supplemental irrigation.
A field survey conducted by the Michigan Water Resources Commission
in 1954 indicated that irrigation systems were used on 234 farms in the
area to irrigate 5,563 acres.3 Approximately half of this acreage was
used for strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and tree fruit crops; 37
percent was used for vegetable crops; and 13 percent for mint, flowers,
nursery crops, and pasture. This survey indicated that approximately 760
million gallons of water was used by these 234 irrigation systems in 1954.
Seventy percent of these systems used water from surface streams, lakes
or ponds; 20 percent pumped their water from wells; and 10 percent used
a combination of surface and ground sources.
Several factors have favored this interest in supplemental irrigation.
The introduction of light weight portable pipe systems has reduced the
cost once associated with heavier pipe systems and at the same time made
irrigation equipment more manageable. Higher farm incomes in the early
postwar period favored new capital investments in farm equipment. Pub-
licity has been given to the fact that the optimum use of commercial fer-
tilizers frequently calls for more soil moisture than that supplied by nor-
mal precipitation. But the most important factor favoring irrigation has
been the expectation of higher yields and higher product quality.
Our data concerning the economics of supplemental irrigation and the
effects of irrigation on crop yields in Michigan are still quite "spotty."
A field study conducted by the Michigan Agricultural Fxperiment Station
throughout southern Michigan in 1953 indicated that most of the farmers
contacted felt that their irrigation practices had helped to increase yields.
In the Paw Paw basin, for example, several farmers indicated that irriga-
tion had doubled their strawberry and raspberry yields and that it had
added 50 percent or more to their yields of crops such as potatoes, sweet
corn, and tomatoes. These estimates are fairly typical of those made in
other parts of southern Michigan.4 But their overall significance is doubt-
less tempered by the fact that 1953 was a year of below average precipi-
tation in the area.

3. Ibid., pp. 29-30.
4. The bulk of the observations made to date in Michigan suggest that supple-
mental irrigation can bring both higher yields and a better quality of product in


Many farmers also app
means of protecting speci
most important in the cas<
by late frosts during the b
tion during these frost per
promising crop. In 1955,
tion systems to forestall
practice made it possible
ries per acre which they
Those fields that were not
varying from complete crM
Much more needs to be
management of supplement
But long before these answ
Demonstrated advantages c
a considerable increase in
of the recent growth rate c
to irrigate approximately
The continuation of this gr
such as farm income level
crease in the demand for i
come in conflict with the g
cipal, industrial and recre
most apparent during the d
for water is at its peak anm

most years that have average
are experienced with truck cre
Sperienced with truck crops, be
Very little irrigation experiea
wheat, beans, or sugar beets.
the drier summer months but
to justify pasture irrigation em
is used primarily with some o
5. Cf. Water Resource Coi
S31-32. As a side note, it may
systems in this area and in Mi
eration. The 1955 Census of A
used on 116 farms in Van Bure
systems were used on 277 far
part of the Michigan Water Re
Made to 109 farms which irrig
cluded in the Paw Paw basin.
2,652 acres in the 18 percent

,y water through their irrigation systems as a
Ity crops from frost damage. This practice is
of the strawberry crop which is often damaged
ossoming period A low rate of water applica-
ods can protect the blossoms and thus save a
r example, several growers used their irriga-
ssible damage from late frosts in May. This
r them to produce 300 or more crates of ber-
ld at prices ranging from $4 to $5 per crate.
irrigated reported much lower yields-often
loss to only 20 percent of the normal expected

known about the proper timing and optimum
irrigation systems under Michigan conditions.
ers become completely available, the already
supplemental irrigation will probably bring
the use of irrigation practices. A continuation
od result in the use of around 1,000 systems
0,000 acres in the Paw Paw basin by 1961.5
wth rate can be affected by many variables
and the availabitiy of water supplies. Any in-
rigation water, however, will sooner or later
owing demand for water for domestic, muni-
tional uses. This conflict will probably become
ier summer months when the overall demand
water supplies are at their lowest ebb.

)r less than average precipitation. Highest returns
ps, berries, tree fulit, potatoes, and turns are ex-
rries, tree fruit, potatoes, and other similar crops.
;e has been reported for field crops such as corn,
Irrigation helps to maintain pasture yields during
t is questionable whether these returns are sufficient
cept in those cases in which the irrigation equipment
her crop.
editions and Uses it the Paw Paw River Basin, pp.
)e observed that th< Census reports on irrigation
chigan as a whole involve considerable underenum-
griculture reports itht irrigation systems were
n County to irrigate 2,907 acres in 1954 and that
as in Berrien County to irrigate 3,507 acres. As a
sources Commissioi survey in 1954, visits were
ated 3,005 acres in the half of Van Buren County in-
Visits were also m de to 135 farms which irrigated
if Berrien County included in the Paw Paw basin.



Most of the above discussion has been cloaked in general terms prima-
rily because of the lack of the basic data needed for a more detailed eco-
nomic analysis. This situation being what it is, a few comments are in
order at this point concerning the types of information needed for a more
thorough-going analysis.
Detailed treatment of the economics of increased water use in the Paw
Paw basin calls for some type of benefits-cost analysis. This type of an-
alysis in turn calls for rather specific findings and assumptions concern-
ing the extent and value of the present and the anticipated future uses of
water and the costs associated with these uses.
Certain data are available concerning the present per capital rates at
which water is used for domestic and municipal purposes and the costs of
providing these supplies. Starting with these data, one can project the
future requirements for domestic and municipal uses. These projections
call for definite assumptions regarding population numbers, per capital
use rates, pumping costs, and the availability of water supplies.
A comparable approach can be applied to the water used for recreational
purposes. But with both the domestic and the recreational use of water,
problems arise when we attempt to assign realistic benefit values to the
water used either now or in the future. Various approaches can be used to
arrive at the economic benefit values needed to justify the costs associ-
ated with water resource development programs. These approaches have
a certain amount of merit in many cases. But at the same time, they often
result in artificial answers and pse4do-precision that has little basis in
economic fact. As a result, it is often wise to recognize that the central
issue with these water uses is not so much that of working out a detailed
benefits-cost analysis as it is that of providing enough water to care for
the reasonable needs of society.
In dealing with domestic and municipal water uses and to a lesser ex-
tent with recreational uses, governmental units often proceed with the as-
sumption that these uses have an overriding absolute or first priority
under all conditions. Up to a certain point, this assumption can be justified
on public health and general welfare grounds. But it does have its limits.
When no other source of water supply is readily available, domestic
and municipal uses normally have a higher priority than agricultural and
industrial uses. But when additional sources of supply can be developed
at comparable or even higher costs, considerable emphasis may be given
to the overall benefits associated with agricultural and industrial develop-
ments. Under these conditions, the unit of government involved must con-
sider not only the relative cost of using a local source of water as com-
pared with a more distant or less accessible source; it must also consider
the economic and other benefits that will be foregone to the community if
its decision prevents desired agricultural or industrial developments.


The decisions reached
terms of the local unit's f
and its ability and willing
ated with the development
leading planning problems
be alleviated at least in p.
support for the develop
The benefits-cost analJ
consider the water require
ductive uses. With these u
of the increased production
ditional water supplies an<
cost of the additional wate
tions of (1) an overall sca]
S(2) an optimum allocation
(3) considerable knowledge
could even go farther to ci
at the point of equi-margii
Agriculture can be usel
rious types of data needed
fits and costs associated i
use of water in agriculture
sis of the economic future
(1) data concerning the eff
regarding the areas that w
water supplies and the cos
sumptions regarding the e
Only fragmentary data
irrigation on crop yields.
fects of varying inputs of i
under varying rainfall and
needed concerning the land
riculture and the extent to
use irrigation. For examp
more irrigation systems e
acreage as now or will the
Future expansion of the
depend upon the availabilil
much more information is
ground water supplies, seg
abilities of storing flood wa
costs associated with addi
given at this point to possi

in cases of this tope are usually oriented in
nancial position, its estimate of future needs,
less topay the hhher costs ordinarily associ-
of the alternative source of supply. Some of the
that local governments face in this regard could
rt by the provision of state or federal financial
Bnt of new or improved sources of water

sis approach realy comes into its own when we
=ments for industry, agriculture, and other pro-
ses one can compute the expected market value
i or other benefits associated with the use of ad-
I then compare tlese benefits with the expected
r used. In an extreme case involving the assump-
'city of water supplies relative to total demand,
)f water supplies between competing uses, and
About the produ tion functions of each use, one
Iculate the benefits and costs that would arise
al returns for alL uses.
I as an example t indicate the scope of the va-
for a full scale Economic analysis of the bene-
ith additional wa ler use. Most of the increasing
involves irrigation practices. A better analy-
of this practice acts of irrigation on yields and quality, (2) data
ill probably be i~ rigated, (3) data on prospective
ts associated witi their use, and (4) definite as-
fects of irrigation on future market prices.
tre now available concerning the net effect of
More information is needed concerning the ef-
rater on different crops on different soils and
soil moisture conditions. Information is also
Areas that are really suited for irrigation ag-
which the operate rs of these areas will likely
le, one might asl whether the future will bring
ach handling approximately the same average
systems tend to increase in size and acreage

area now subject to irrigation will naturally
y of adequate water supplies. In this respect,
needed regarding the extent of our surface and
.sonal variations in these supplies, the possi-
ters for later use, and the pumping and piping
;ional water use. Consideration must also be
ble conflicts wit other competing uses and to


the prospects for a fair allocation of the available water supplies between
these uses.
Finally, informed guesses are needed concerning the effect that the in-
creased production associated with irrigation practices will have upon
product prices. If this production results in lower unit prices, it will ob-
viously have a quite different effect upon the overall benefits-cost situa-
tion than when it leaves market price level unchanged.
As these comments suggest, a detailed benefits-cost analysis calls for
more data than are now available or than are likely to be available in the
near future. This situation naturally limits the scope and value of this pa-
per. With the data at hand, however, it is possible to indicate some of the
major policy issues that may come up with varying levels of water re-
source use.


As we try to envisage the various policy issues that will arise in the
future, it is best to think in terms of concrete situations. For discussion
purposes, four of these situations can be assumed. Situation 1 assumes
an increase in water use that will bring maximum utilization of surface
water supplies during the drier summer months. Situation 2 goes farther
to assume maximum utilization of both surface and ground waters. Situa-
tion 3 assumes sufficient demand for water to justify the recharging of
ground aquifiers. And Situation 4 assumes a need for bringing water into
the basin from Lake Michigan.
Situation 1: With maximum utilization of surface
supplies during the drier summer months

Hydrograph records for the 1952-54 period indicate that the Paw Paw
river had a mean monthly discharge of less than 300 cubic feet per second
at the Riverside gaging station for the months of July, August, and Septem-
ber. A high proportion of this water is needed to support the industrial,
power, recreational, and municipal waste disposal practices now carried
on along the stream. This means that only a small (not as yet accurately
determined) surplus is available for consumptive uses such as irrigation.
A relatively small increase in the amount of water taken for irrigation 4
could thus exhaust this surplus and precipitate a definite conflict of inter-
ests between irrigators and other riparian users.
The problem here is one of insufficient surface water resources to pro-
vide for all of the emerging demand. Conflicts of interests are inevitable
under these conditions. Conflicts of this type have already brought a lim-
itation of the pollution "rights" once exercised by several industries and
municipalities. And in the future additional conflicts of interests will
probably come with the exercise of many heretofore unused riparian rights.


This situation will likely
rigation purposes and ma
Many policy issues wil
lems. Some of the more i
1. Public interest in
riparian and the average i
his property; in this same
What interest does the pu
the state go in its attempt
Can it exercise any proper
it apply the police power
tional action be sought to
public wate- ? Should co
scope of the riparian doct
2. Pollution control.
pollution? Should except
as when the added cost of
limits the competitive pos
other areas? What empha
compared with municipal
3. Unused riparian rig
ting currently unused rips
rupts the existing water
"rights" to other operator
should they be limited to
4. Irrigation rights. M
waters from streams or
they have to store water
future irrigation use? Ho
tors security in their ent<
farm irrigator have again
ter he now uses for as ye
erators who may install i
present source of water s
S 5. Allocation of scarce
face water supplies during
of water be allocated betv
tention should be given to
can store excess runoff fx
Suse? Assuming that storz
cost of construction and n
nanced entirely by farm
borne by municipal, indus

,reclude any additional diversion of water for ir-
even limit the diversion practices of established

Doubtless arise in the resolution of these prob-
nportant of these can be stated as follows:
Later. What interest or rights does the average
lonriparian owne have in the water flowing over
water once it becomes part of a stream or lake?
lic hold in the waters of the state? How far can
to control or allocate the use of riparian waters?
ietary rights in this regard? To what extent can
or this purpose? Should legislative or constitu-
extend the intere t that the state has over its
parable action te sought to limit or expand the
ow far should the state go in its control of water
ns be granted uner particular circumstances
pollution control prevents plant expansion or
ition of an industrial plant relative to firms in
sis should be given to recreational interests as
>r industrial cost and convenience in pollution

its. How far can riparian owners go in activa-
rian rights if thel exercise of these rights dis-
3e pattern and causes inconvenience or loss of
s? Can these rights be limited by law? If so,
hose rights exercised by a specified date?
hat rights do far ners have to divert surface
ikes for irrigation purposes? What rights do
either in ponds or small stream reservoirs for
w can their right be strengthened to give opera-
rprise expectations? What protection does a
it downstream ritarians who may claim the wa-
unused riparian purposes; against upstream op-
*rigation systems that will deprive him of his
supplies. Assuming an overall shortage of sur-
; certain seasons, how should the existing supply
een the various competing uses ? How much at-
the possible use of reservoirs and ponds that
om periods of above average supply for later
ge facilities are developed, who should bear the
maintenance? Should these developments be fi-
'rigators or should a portion of their cost be
riall, power, and recreational interests?


Assuming a division of financial responsibility, should the division of
costs be based on an arbitrary formula or should it be allocated on a bene-
fits received basis? If a benefits-cost analysis were used, what emphasis
should be given to municipal and recreational benefits as compared with
the benefits enjoyed by industry and agriculture? Should the costs that
are charged to recreational uses be borne by the owners of resort prop-
erties and by local sportsmen, by the state, or by both? How can joint
water-use enterprises be financed and administered under Michigan law?

Situation 2: With maximum utilization of
surface and ground water supplies

The Paw Paw basin enjoys a ground water resource of above average
potential. All of the municipalities in the area except Benton Harbor and
most of the larger water-using industries depend upon this source for
their water supplies. Ground waters are also used with between 20 and
30 percent of the farm irrigation systems.
In view of the existing competition for surface water supplies and the
possible conflicts of interests that can be expected in periods of low stream
flow, an increasing proportion of the water supplies of this area will prob-
ably come from deep wells. The municipalities will continue to emphasize
this source because it provides a dependable and adequate source of po-
table water. With the average industrial and agricultural user, this shift
from the use of surface to ground water will involve higher investment
and operating costs. 6 Over the long run, however, this additional cost will
6. A study of the costs of supplemental irrigation conducted under the auspices
of the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station in 1953 indicates that it cost
around $1,200 under 1953 price conditions to install a 100 foot 8-inch well with a
pumping capacity of 250 gallons per minute and around $1,700 to install a 100 foot
12-inch well (the more commonly installed size) with a pumping capacity of 500
gallons per minute. Installation of a turbine pump with electric motor for a 100
foot (80 foot lift) well with 250 gallons per minute capacity cost around $1,750. A
comparable installation with 500 gallons per minute capacity cost $2,350. These
same pumps equipped with gear head drives but without the engine power units
cost around $1,500 and $1,800 respectively. A comparison of the approximate in-
stallation costs under 1953 conditions of four typical-sized irrigation systems
using a shallow well or surface source of water and using a deep well source
Acres Cost of system with gasoline Cost of system with
irrigated engine and shallow well or a deep well and an
surface source at the corner electric motor located
of farmer's field at corner of field
5-15 acres $1,000 to $1,200
15-30 acres $2,400 $3,350
30-50 acres 4,400 5,150
40-80 acres 5,800 6,550


be justified if it provides
and if it gives these opera
water for agricultural or i
It appears that the group
adequate to care for pract
several years. But as we
sin as a model of the wate
-we can envision a situati
longer adequate to meet d4
require deepening and tern
many communities.
This situation will give
in the following questions.
What recourse do indiv:
or against farm irrigators
They claim damages from i
for possible loss of produce
ests and riparian owners c
reduced lake levels and no
have any basis for demand
users and how could such i
measures would be in order

to justif]

Going beyond situation
tionship that calls for reci
Paw basin is overlaid with
Gravel pits are also locate
suggest that a water recha
if a definite need were felt
call for an investment in ti
settling basins, some poss.
that would hold back the ru
Assuming a program of
tered? Would legislative a
under the present Soil Coni
Water Management Distric
a program? Should it be fi
tures are built; (2) the use
Problem of critical supplies
started pumping or who ha'
date; (4) all of the users o
area; or (6) the state or fe
of riparian waters have in



more adequate :
:ors the legal sec
industrial purpose
nd water resource
ically all of the e
.ook ahead-and a
7 use problems t
on in Which the s
!mand. Under thl
porary exhaustion

tnd dependable supply of water
urity they need in the use of
es of the Paw Paw area are
expected water needs of the next
s we think of the Paw Paw ba-
iat may arise in other areas
supply of ground water is no
se conditions many wells will
n may become a problem in

rise to policy problems such as those suggested

dual cities or ini
for creating a g:
otherss for the coi
tion? What righl
laim if the excess
rmal stream floN
ing an allocation
L system be admi

lustries have against each other
ound water shortage? Can
-t of deepening their wells or
s could the recreational inter-
sive pumping of ground waters
r? Would individual water users
of ground water rights among
nistered? What conservation

I: With demand large enough

recharge of gr

I, one may assun
arguing our ground
sandy loam soil
d in many parts
urging program cc
for this type of "
*rraces, check da
ble reforestation
noff during surpl
this type, how c(
authorization be n
iervation Distric
t Act of 1954? M
danced by (1) the
rs of ground wat
s; (3) the users i
re enlarged their
'ground waters;
deral government
such a program?

Dund water

,e a supply and demand rela-
d aquifers. Much of the Paw
of high infiltration capacity.
)f the basin. These conditions
uld be carried on to advantage
.ctivity. This program would
ms, ditches to divert water to
, and other similar measures
us water periods.
uld it be setup and adminis-
ecessary or could it be handled
ts program or under Michigan's
ho should bear the cost of such
operators on whose lands struc-
!r who are most affected by the
>f ground water who have
operations after a specified
(5) all the taxpayers in the
t? What stake would the users
Could a benefits-cost analysis


be used to determine an equitable allocation of costs among the prospec-
tive beneficiaries of the program?

Situation 4: With demand such as to
justify diversion from Lake Michigan

The Paw Paw basin is located within a few miles of Lake Michigan.
This great fresh water reservoir represents a potential source of water
that the area can use if sufficient need exists. The cost of bringing this
water into the basin would, of course, vary with the size and length of the
pumping system and its conduit, the amount of water pumped, the location
of the system, and its seasonality of use.
A guide to the location of this system is suggested by the third map pre-
pared by the Michigan Water Resources Commission (Cf. Paw Paw River
Drainage System, Map No. 3. Irrigation Systems). As this map indicates,
most of the irrigation, recreational, and industrial need for water occurs
in the lower third of the basin. Given a greatly expanded demand for wa-
ter, it would probably be feasible to authorize the complete appropriation
of the flow of the Paw Paw river above Watervliet. The need for water
below this point could then be handled by a pumping and conduit system
that would conduct water the four or five miles from Lake Michigan to the
drainage basin of Paw Paw lake. This pumped water could then flow
through the lake into the Paw Paw river channel above Watervliet and
care for the surface water needs of the main river basin from there to the
river's mouth.
This project proposal has a number of parallels in the Lake Michigan
region. The city of Grand Rapids, for example, pumps and pipes its water
approximately 30 miles from Lake Michigan. Milwaukee pumps its water
from the same lake and at the same time pumps considerable water into
the Milwaukee river for navigation and waste dilution purposes. The Paw
Paw proposal differs from these other cases in the sense that some of the
water will be used for consumptive uses such as irrigation and thus will
not come back to the lake. If this issue were carried to the extreme of the
Chicago ship canal diversion proposal of the 1930s it could involve an is-
sue. in interstate rights and international law.
Assuming that a project such as that outlined above were to be carried
out, questions would arise concerning the legality of the diversion of water .
from the lake. Among the other policy issues that would arise, one could
How would the project be administered and financed? Who should bear
the burden of cost? Should it fall only on the lower part of the basin, on
the whole basin, or on the state? How would the seasonal use of the pro-
ject affect its overall value and cost? What riparian rights problems
would arise above Watervliet if arrangements were made to allow the com-
plete appropriation or diversion of the stream during certain low water


periods? What problems vould arise in the
body of water were used a part of the water
Michigan to the Paw Paw 'iver channel?


* Paw Paw lake area if this
!rway to get water from Lake


Throughout the discuss
pose to raise questions ra
cannot be answered with o
of water resources in this
try, economic and policy c
arise. As we move to me(
more in the way of resear
Unless I am mistaken, we
nize the changing relations
sources and that will pern
water use problems of the

Ion of these four
her than answer
ir present know
area and in simi
questions of the o0
t these problems
.h information th
will also need so
ihip between man
lit a more dynam

situations, it has been my pur-
them. Many of these questions
Idge. But as we expand our use
lar areas throughout the coun-
'der mentioned are bound to
,we are going to need much
n we have at the present time.
me new laws that will recog-
and his supply of water re-
ic approach to the emerging


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