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State Water Resources Planning in the United States


  • Sponsored by the Task Committee on State Water Resources Planning Assessment of the Water Resources Planning Council of the Environmental and Water Resources Institute of ASCE.

    This report explores features and trends in state water planning since 1986. Historically, the federal government was the planner for large-scale water resource development, but now the states are the major players in this process. This shift is a result of several events, such as: devolution of federal water programs, emergence of a sustained focus on environmental protection and restoration, elimination of funding for the Water Resources Planning Act of 1965, and changes in federal cost sharing policies.

    Contemporary state water plans continue to have ties with the past, but they also reflect changing social preferences and strong support for environmental protection and restoration. These water plans incorporate a wide range of water quantity and quality components, such as source water assessment and total maximum daily loads (TMDLs). Other trends include a rekindling of the "watershed focus," the emergence of sustainable development as a planning goal, and the introduction of new techniques such as adaptive management and shared vision modeling.

    This report compiles the critical water resources planning actions and strategies for all 50 states and will be of interest to state and federal water planners and water resource agencies.

For selected items:
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Summary and Analysis of Findings
Chapter 3 Suggested Components of a State Water Resources Plan
Chapter 4 State-by-State Water Resources Planning Profiles