Public Participation in Water Resources Development

by Edward Silberman, (F.ASCE), Prof.; St. Anthony Falls Hydr. Lab., Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn., and Commissioner, Bassett Creek Flood Control Commission, Hennepin County, Minn.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 1, Pg. 111-123

Document Type: Journal Paper


The objectives of a public participation program should be to assure that planners and public have similar concepts of what the problems are and that the proposed solutions are perceived as solutions by both planners and public. Elements of a public participation program are identifying the public, reaching the public, and determining what the public wishes are. These elements are analyzed by recounting the experience of the Bassett Creek Flood Control Commission in establishing a flood-control plan for an urbanized and urbanizing area in the Minneapolis, Minn. metropolitan area. The Commission is composed of nine volunteer commissioners, one appointed by each of the nine cities in the basin. The Commission (with the aid of its consulting engineers) was very effective in melding bureaucratic and public input into an acceptable plan where a previous plan prepared under the auspices of a bureaucratic organization was practically shouted down.

Subject Headings: Water resources | Public participation | Floods | Consulting services | Rivers and streams | Urban areas | Volunteerism | Basins

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