Water Planning and the Environment: 1776-1976

by 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, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 1, Pg. 65-78

Document Type: Journal Paper


The history of the ways in which environmental factors have been integrated into water resources planning is divided into three periods. During the first period, the years from 1776 to 1900, there was relatively little concern over the environmental impacts of water projects. The second period, from 1900 to 1970, represents a period during which environmental issues were concerned largely with the elimination of recklessness and waste and the efficient utilization of water resources. Environmental factors sometimes received consideration as a result of the concerns of citizens' groups and as a result of interagency coordination requirements. The third period, the years since 1970, represents a time during which water resources agencies are routinely faced with a host of environmental concerns. Some of these relate to principal concerns of the previous period, i.e., the efficient use of resources. Others, e.g., the preservation of scarce natural environments and the maintenance of ecological stability and diversity, are relatively new issues.

Subject Headings: Water resources | Water management | Water conservation | History | Recycling | Maintenance | Historic preservation | Water shortage

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