Fairness Considerations and Alternative Policies

by J. Jeffrey Peirce, Sr. Engr.; Visiting Asst. Prof., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Duke Univ., Durham, N.C.; formerly, Sr. Engr., Energy and Environment Div., Booz, Allen, and Hamilton, Bethesda, Md.,
Martin H. David, Prof.; Dept. of Economics, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisc.,
Erhard F. Joeres, Prof.; Dept. of Civ. and Environmental Engrg., Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisc.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 1, Pg. 81-87

Document Type: Journal Paper


A method is presented whereby a water-resource planner can generate a range of alternative solutions to problems in the public sector. Different definitions of fairness based on legal and philosophical principles form the foundation of the method. These are: (1)Contractual agreement; (2)precedent; (3)the market system; (4)egalitarianism; and (5)equal treatment of equals and differential treatment of unequals. Alternative solutions to a sample problem dealing with regional phosphorus control are constructed with objectives of meeting a particular fairness definition. Thus, decision makers are able to organize their options as they meet the fairness requirements of the judiciary and the procedural mandates of Federal and state environmental policy acts.

Subject Headings: Terminology and definition | Water resources | Legal affairs | Foundations | Agreements and treaties | Phosphorus | Decision making | Federal government

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