Economic factors and Water Resources Planning in America

by L. Douglas James, (M.ASCE), Dir.; Utah Water Research Lab., Utah State Univ., Logan, Utah,
Jerry R. Rogers, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Houston, Houston, Texas,

Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 1, Pg. 47-64

Document Type: Journal Paper


In the United States the year 1776 marked the beginning of a government dedicated to develop abundant unclaimed resources for the benefit of common people. It also marked the publication of Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith as the beginning of modern economics. Since then, proponents and opponents of project development schemes for navigation, irrigation, flood control, hydroelectric power, and water quality have desired economic arguments to support their positions. While economic comparisons have gained widespread application in project design, they have seldom decided project selection. In order to get away from using economics at the project selection level largely to defend decisions already made, economic analysis needs to be restructured by more effective use of the information storage and retrieval capabilities of modern computers so that relevant information from any viewpoint can be quickly provided to people or communities making water management decisions. The goal is to get crusaders to listen to facts before committing themselves and society.

Subject Headings: Economic factors | Water resources | Hydro power | Water quality | Government | Publications | Navigation (waterway) | Irrigation | United States

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