Edited by Clifford S. Russell and Duane D. Baumann
Appendix 2.1: Evolution of Public Involvement in Water Planning
Jerome Delli Priscoli Introduction: What is Public Participation in Water Resources Management and Why Should Decision Makers be Interested in It? As we know, the control of water is the control of life and livelihood. Thus, how we exercise this control reveals what we value, who we are and what type of society we seek to become. Not surprisingly, water resources planning has evolved along with our evolving understanding of how we control and manage water. The past decades have brought fundamental changes in key dimensions of water management including the objectives sought, evaluation criteria and procedures employed. Perhaps the greatest change has been in the role of the public in the planning process. Public participation (or involvement) in water resources management can mean many things to many people. The approaches used in the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to help water resources have been pragmatic and have not dogmatically advocated a definitive definition of participation. However, USACE experiences do reveal areas of growing concern to the water field within which to discuss what participation is and why it is important. These are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Ethical dimensions of water management. Water management and civic culture. Tension between the technical and political. Reconciling the discontinuities between geographic and jurisdictional boundaries. Need for better and more conflict management. Ethical dimensions of water management We can see profound ethical implications in all aspects of the traditional water uses such as: flood control and management; drought contingency planning and management;...
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