The Evolution of Water Resource Planning and Decision Making

The Evolution of Water Resource Planning and Decision Making

Edited by Clifford S. Russell and Duane D. Baumann

This broad review of the development of US water resource policy analysis and practice offers perspectives from several disciplines: law, economics, engineering, ecology and political science. The historical context provided goes back to the early 19th century, but the book concentrates on the past 60 years. A key feature is a discussion of the difficulty that has generally been encountered in bringing the disciplines of economics and ecology into collaboration in the water resource context.

Chapter 7: Making the Transition: Moving Water Resources Planning and Management into the Twenty-first Century

Gerald E. Galloway

Subjects: environment, water


Gerald E. Galloway INTRODUCTION The previous chapters discussed various aspects of water resources planning and management as they have evolved over roughly the last halfcentury and offered lessons learned, conclusions and recommendations for dealing with current or forecast problems. The purposes here are to provide a brief summary of these chapters, identify the significant issues now facing the nation in water resources planning and management, suggest future directions for the field in light of the challenges identified and offer recommendations for research that would support and complement efforts to deal with the challenges ahead. WHERE HAVE WE BEEN? In 1902, with passage of the Reclamation Act, the nation established a social and economic goal of drawing people to the more arid West by providing them with the water they would need to live and to support themselves by practicing irrigated agriculture. Hydropower, a major interest of conservationists seeking basin approaches to water planning during Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency, became a regulatory mission of the federal government in the 1920s. During the Depression of the 1930s, the Administration of President Franklin Roosevelt took actions to prime the economic pump, including building large water projects, such as dams on the Missouri River and its tributaries. It also established the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to bring economic development to that valley, while managing the river system as a system. Following on a series of legislative actions begun early in the century and designed to deal with regional 259 260 The evolution of water resource...

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