The politics of water resource management through Arizona water-related regulatory agencies.
AuthorNull, James Allan,1939-
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation describes and explains how water related regulatory agencies function in Arizona. The study's major focus is the policy process of water agencies. It is a comparison of the legal powers of agencies and their actual behavior in regard to those powers. A major conclusion of the study is that administrative laws and procedures (policies) in Arizona are basically the result of a variety of interest group activity which is directed primarily toward the state administrative bureauracy. The interest groups which are the most active and those that have established clientele relationships with water related regulatory agencies are associations which are concerned with water issues. Although farm-ranch and conservation oriented associations have historically had the greatest impact on water management and control by state agencies, their monopoly has been challenged in the sixties by commercial and municipal interests which (as domestic, commercial and industrial water consumption increases) are becoming more concerned about the supply, quality and cost of water. As population increases in the two metropolitan areas of the state, and as that concentration of population is reflected in the reapportionment of the state legislature, it is likely the status quo will eventually change in favor of those interest groups existing in the metropolitan areas. An incremental approach to the formulation of water law and to the establishment of regulatory functions for state agencies has resulted in a decentralized and fragmented administrative structure for regulating the management and use of water. There are fourteen agencies which have been given varying degrees of power to regulate the use of water. Although there are overlapping areas of jurisdiction between the fourteen agencies, most of the agencies' areas of jurisdiction are narrowly defined. The agencies with the broadest area of jurisdiction are the State Land Department and the Arizona Corporation Commission. The study of activities of Arizona water related regulatory agencies shows that the proliferation of water associations has placed such demands on the state government that it must assume a more vigorous role in water resource management. There are two major problem areas which only the state alone can solve-1-a revision of water law in Arizona and administrative reform. The most logical method of accomplishing these two tasks is through the establishment of a state administrative agency which is given sufficient power to investigate, plan and coordinate the management of water usage in the state of Arizona. The commission form of administrative agency which has been used in Arizona would be readily adaptable to such an agency. A commission form would present the opportunity for a broad representation of water interests in the state. In the last decade the political feasibility of such a solution (establishment of a central water agency) has substantially increased. The political status quo has been affected by such events as the reapportionment of the legislature, the passage by Congress of the Central Arizona Project, an increase in the domestic consumption of water and the ever increasing variance in the pumping and natural recharging of ground water. Also within the last decade, there have been state governmental changes which have had an impact on administrative regulatory agencies. Examples of these changes include the lengthening of executive terms of office and legislation establishing a more centralized budget and a state personnel system. It is too soon to assess the magnitude of the impact of the changes discussed above. It is clear, however, that the political environment in Arizona is becoming more favorable for the state's regulation of the use of water.
Degree NamePh. D.