Environmental Specialists in Water Agencies

by Bryan R. Jenkins, Project Consultant; Kinnaird, Hill, deRohan and Young, Melbourne, Australia; formerly, Grad. Student, Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Stanford Univ., Stanford, Calif.,
Leonard Ortolano, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Stanford Univ., Stanford, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 1, Pg. 61-74

Document Type: Journal Paper


There are five different roles that environmental specialists can play in water resource agencies: (1)Environmental planning; (2)environmental design; (3)system monitoring; (4)report preparation; and (5)report review. Placement of environmental specialists in line units (e.g., planning, design, and maintenance) facilitates coordination. There are, however, significant advantages, in terms of report preparation and review, of keeping environmental specialists in one organizational unit and not diffusing them into various line units. But with a separate staff unit for environmental specialists, these specialists have less influence on planning and decision making. Numerous aspects of this dilemma are explored using data for the Santa Clara Valley Water District in California and several District Offices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In the final analysis, the organizational arrangement that is in some sense best depends on which of the several roles played by the environmental specialists is to receive emphasis.

Subject Headings: Environmental issues | Water management | Water resources | Sustainable development | Building design | Maintenance | Diffusion | Decision making | California | United States

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