Role of Government in Water Resource Development

by Ayers Brinser,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1965, Vol. 91, Issue 4, Pg. 13-22

Document Type: Journal Paper


The expanding role of government in water resources management requires new and more refined criteria of choice among investment opportunities. Multiple-purpose, comprehensive, and incremental planning represent three approaches to a solution to this problem. Incremental planning has the advantages of: (1) adaptability to change; (2) focusing on feasible projects; (3) increasing the range of choice over time; and (4) easing adjustment to uncertainty. Water resources planning policy must be adapted to produce effective decisions in six areas: (1) adjustment between the requirements of regions and those of the entire United States; (2) coordination among the various units of government; (3) integration of development investments in the public and private sectors of the economy; (4) coordination among the federal water resource agencies; (5) scheduling and establishing priorities among the purposes of the water resources planning unit; and (6) coordination between the water resource agencies and the legislative branch of government. To achieve these objectives, further research in the social sciences, both in resource agencies and research institutions, is needed to support the physical designs for water resource development.

Subject Headings: Water resources | Public policy | Government | Resource management | Investments | Uncertainty principles | Public private partnership | Private sector | United States

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