Public Participation in Urban Water Planning

by Thomas C. Ferrara, Instructor; Division of Civil Engineering, Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO; formerly Grad. Student, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA,
Karl M. Romstad, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Professor; Dept. of Civil Engineering, University California at Davis, Davis, CA,
William K. Johnson, (M.ASCE), Civil Engineer; Hydrologic Engineering Center, Corps of Engineers, Davis, CA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Urban Planning and Development Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 2, Pg. 179-190

Document Type: Journal Paper


An analysis of public participation in preliminary planning for flood protection on the Morrison Creek Stream Group, illustrates several difficulties associated with involving the public in urban water planning. First, how is the public defined? Second, what form should participation take? Third, what are the basic public concerns and which concerns may involve conflict? A study of the public's role in the Morrison Creek project brought to light many complex and competitive issues and identified several important needs. Active participation by state and federal agencies could provide effective representation of a broad public interest. Local governments' formulation of a definitive policy for land use is a significant planning requirement. Private organizations and individuals can exert substantial influence on study alternatives. Thus, an important early concern in the formulation of an urban water planning study should be an analysis of how to effectively involve the public.

Subject Headings: Municipal water | Rivers and streams | Public participation | Urban areas | Floods | Public opinions | Federal government | Local government

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