Title page for ETD etd-02042010-020010

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Cox, William E.
URN etd-02042010-020010
Title Ground water management in Virginia: a comparative evaluation of the institutional framework.
Degree PhD
Department Civil Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Walker, W. R. Committee Chair
Hackett, James E. Committee Member
King, Paul H. Committee Member
Long, Burl F. Committee Member
Wiggert, James M. Committee Member
  • water resources
  • water rights
Date of Defense 1976-03-05
Availability restricted

Ground water is an abundant resource in considerable portions of Virginia and exists in varying quantities throughout the state. It has played an important role in supplying municipal and industrial needs and is the major source of supply for individual and small community systems. Management of the resource has traditionally been decentralized in nature, with private individuals and industrial firms constituting the principal decision-makers with regard to development and utilization. In the past, the primary governmental control has consisted of judicial enforcement of private rights as they apply to ground water, and even this institutional mechanism has remained at a low level of development.

However, recent years have seen considerable expansion in direct governmental involvement as a result of substantial deterioration of ground water conditions in many areas and a greater recognition of the significance of this occurrence…

Since institutions for ground water management are society’s rules for controlling the resource, their development requires a determination of societal objectives and a definition of the public interest in the resource. The existence of such an interest is generally conceded, but the basic issue of balancing the degree of public control with the rights of the individual remains. Since this issue involves a divergence of views, its resolution requires the amalgamation of conflicting positions and therefore must involve action through the political process. Optimization of the returns from the ground water resource is but one of the various factors that will influence the design of institutions, but the ultimate degree of success toward the achievement of this objective will in large measure be determined by the form of these institutions.

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