Washington Law Review


It is no secret to residents of the western states that water is a matter of primary public concern. Land and water policies are deeply imbedded in the region, and the imprint of federal water projects on the economic geography of the West is plain to see. It is increasingly clear, however, that no coherent national policy, past or present, has emerged from the massive federal effort in the field. There is no lack of interest, planning, and expenditure on the supply and quality of water, and much progress has been made in definition and measurement of the factors that determine an efficient water system. But sound principles are still honored as much in the breach as in the observance, and we still speak with a thousand voices on any water problem of real magnitude. The time is at hand when the plethora of overlapping and frequently quarrelsome federal agencies concerned with the development and allocation of water supplies and the protection of water quality must be subjected to the test of clearly formulated national objectives and of conceptually sound and consistent means of achieving them.

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