Assessment of the Role of the Social Sciences in Water Planning and Management: Legal Systems and their Impediments to Change

by Robert E. Beck, Southern Illinois Univ, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: The Role of Social and Behavioral Sciences in Water Resources Planning and Management


Water resource planners and managers may not be able to do what they believe essential, or at least useful, to sound water management because the action would violate the federal constitution or a state constitution; they have not been given the authority to take the action or at best their authority to take it is unclear; they are required by statute to do something else or at least required by statute to do something the value of which is seriously open to question or at best unknown; judicial doctrine prevents it. Legal scholars are open to the criticism that they have failed to fully explore the foregoing impediments to action, particularly in the contexts of why things are as they are and whether a particular rule or restraint performs the function intended for it. This paper presents an overview exploration of these general themes.

Subject Headings: Systems management | Social factors | Legal affairs | Political factors | Water resources | Federal government | Managers | Water supply systems

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