WATER RIGHTS AND DYNAMIC WATER POLICIES . Roberta Haley Savage ENTREAT Conference Sewanee University of the South March 8, 2007. Introduction. All life is interconnected and the survival of humanity is dependent on a healthy ecosystem.
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Roberta Haley Savage
Sewanee University of the South
March 8, 2007
Water management is multi-objective:
focused on preventing and removing obstructions to navigation by prohibiting the place of fill or other alterations in navigable channels without the permission of the Secretary of War.
further ensured safe navigation in navigable waters by prohibiting the construction of any bridge, dam, dike, causeway, wharf, pier, jetty, etc. without Congressional approval.
broadened the scope of the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Engineers’ responsibility in conducting Federal investigations and improvements by specifying that wildlife conservation be given “due regard”
emphasized assistance for municipal wastewater treatment facilities, research on industrial water pollution and last resort federal enforcement of pollution discharge problems.
extended the Federal role in providing financial support for the construction of wastewater treatment works.
raised the cap on construction grants.
created the Federal Water Pollution Control Administration within the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and brought about the mandate for water quality
increased the federal contribution for wastewater treatment. This act also required that each State planning agency receiving a grant develop a comprehensive pollution control plan for each watershed basin.
8 years later, a nationwide public protest of US environmental policy was held – this became Earth Day
Congress revised and expanded the Clean Water Act in 1977, 1981 and 1987.
The statute now includes provisions to address:
Tools utilized by the statue to implement the requirements of the Clean Water Act include:
Many economists and water purveyors believe that water markets are the solution to water allocation problems, but there is little agreement about what a water market should really look like.
Water resource experts are actively pursuing the concepts of water marketing and investigating the potential trades.
There are three major types of wetlands:
as much as two-thirds of the world population may be subject to moderate to high water stress
Note: water stress is defined as follows:
Low = less than 10% of total available is withdrawn
Moderate = 10-20% of total available is withdrawn
High = more than 40% of total available is withdrawn
Water scarcity is exacerbated by global climate change (global warming)
“If the wars of this century were fought over oil, the wars of the next century will be fought over water.”
These conflicts are already taking place, often camouflaged as ethnic and religious battles.
“The majority of wars fought on this planet find their origins in the ownership of water. Water: who has it, who needs it, who wants it and who can get it, is often at the root of the conflict”