Water policy


Water is one of the basic resources that support every aspect ifliving, for humans, animal and plants. Besides being there insufficiency, the water has to be clean enough and safe for theseuses. The largest source of natural clean water in America are itsnatural water sheds, comprised of streams, lakes and rivers runningthroughout the landscape. However, since the onset of largescaleindustrialization, human activities have led to the deteriorating ofthe quality of the water. Besides destroying the natural watersheds,human activities have led to heavy pollution the water resources.This problem is set to affect the present and future generations, ifit is not addressed properly.

Themagnitude of the problem is statistically massive. Millions of theAmerican population faces the risk of accessing poor quality water,which has direct and dire consequences for their health (Unger,2006). At the same time, the amount of money used to reclaim andprotect destroyed water sheds tunes to billions of dollars. For thisreason, protecting the country’s water resource should beconsidered a priority for the government. The government, through thelegislature, has the responsibility of providing frameworks in termsof water protection policies to protect and preserve this importantresource. This paper analyzes water protection policies that can beimplemented by the Environmental Protection Program (EPA).


PolicyAlternative 1

The first policy is having individual State jurisdictions to takemore responsibility for their territorial waters. This policyrecommendation is based on the fact that any discharge into thecountry’s waters is illegal, and without a specific permit, theoffenders should be charged and duly prosecuted. By grantingindividual states more responsibility, local laws will be moreeffective in controlling the levels of pollution that are currentlyexperienced. Individual states should also ensure that they createmore local acts to protect their watersheds and restore the physical,chemical and biological integrity of the sources.

PolicyAlternative 2

The second policy one that establishes for the regulation ofdischarges into the water shed. This policy is similar to the CleanWater Act of 1972 (Doremus &amp Tarlock, 2013). However, afundamental inclusion into this policy is first having thedischarging parties pay in advance for the cleaning and restorationof the water sources. This is based on the fact that despite theamount of discharges into the water shed, there will reach a pointwhere the pollutants will accumulate beyond the acceptable levels.Further, this policy should include a framework for the regulation ofthe amount of discharges that can be allowed into a certain watershed area, determined upon the calculations of the amount of waterprovided by the shed and the reliability upon that resource. Themajor focus of this policy should be promoting sustainable waterinfrastructure and consistency with prevailing demand and supply ofthis valuable resource.

PolicyAlternative 3

Thethird policy is increasing investments on water infrastructure. Thispolicy shall provide a framework for collaborative effort between theState, Federal governments and the private sector. The infrastructureinvestments should be geared towards promoting economiccompetitiveness in the management of the water resources, andstructuralized responsibility in harnessing of the water. The policywill have clearly set short-term and long-term milestones, whichcombined, will help the people to protect the water resources for thepresent and future generations.


The EPA, as the authoritative body for natural resource conservancyand regulation, shall use three criteria for comparing thesealternatives. These are the cost, judicial and practical feasibility.From the cost perspective, the expenditure on each alternative shallbe considered. The cheapest option gets an upper hand. From ajudicial perspective, the role and responsibility of officials at theState and Federal levels will be evaluated upon which the best-placedparty shall be considered. Finally, from a practical feasibilityperspective, an alternative shall be picked upon the consideration ofits effectiveness and likelihood to achieve the objective. Below isan analysis based on these criteria.


From the cost evaluation, the second option is the cheapest. Byhaving the pollution agents pay for the protection of theenvironment, the government will not use a lot of its revenue toprotect the water sheds. From a judicial perspective, the thirdoption is the cheapest, followed by the first. Given that the thirdoption is a collaborative effort between the State and federalgovernments, the legislature will have more power to protect thewater resources. Finally, from a practical perspective, the thirdoption is the most feasible. One of the best ways of protecting andpositively utilizing a natural resource is having the rightinfrastructure to maintain its use.




Practical feasibility

1: Federal responsibility

2: Regulation of discharge

3: Investment in water infrastructure

Table1: Evaluation criteria. The markings show where the policies scorewell.


This paper proposes for the implementation of the third policyalternative, which entails increasing investment on waterinfrastructure. The main reason behind the choice is that thealternative scores highly on the evaluation criteria. On virtue ofjurisdiction, the policy will have the support of the State andFederal judiciary. This support will ensure that the law issufficiently applied at all levels of management, and that anyloopholes in the management of water infrastructure will be covered.Secondly, the option is cost effective. By diversifying theresponsibility to the State and Federal levels, the actualization ofthe infrastructure will be affordable. Moreover, the policy allowsfor the inclusion of both the public and private sectors in mattersof water resources management. Thirdly, the alternative ispractically feasible. Government instruments and resources will beeffectively put to use at different levels of governance, enablingthe stakeholders to fulfill both the short-term and long-term goals.

To establish the effectiveness of the policy, the paper recommendsthe EPA to use a systematic framework for evaluating its application.In this regard, there shall be a time-frame to measure short-term andlong-term milestones. There shall also be a commission to guide theimplementation of the policy, as well as structuring strategies to beapplied at different levels. The committee shall from time to timepresent a comprehensive report of the milestones to the relevantauthorities at the EPA. At the same time, the supply of informationat different levels of management shall be independent, and theinformation shall be used in the decision-making process, which shallin accordance with the legal framework of the policy, will be used inimplementation. As such, the efficiency evaluation tools for thepolicy shall be reports and environmental statistics. Forenvironmental policy tools and evaluation purposes, the paperproposes the cost-benefit analysis and the environment approach(oecd.org, 2015). This tool weighs categories of benefits against thecost, which will be used to determine the efficiency of applicationof the policy.


Doremus, H., &amp Tarlock, A. D.(2013). Can the Clean Water Act succeed as an ecosystem protectionlaw,&nbspGeorgeWashington Journal of Energy &amp Environmental Legislation,&nbsp4,46.

Oecd.org. (2015). Cost-Benefit analysis and the environment:Recent developments. Retrieved 28 November 2015 fromhttp://www.oecd.org/environment/tools-evaluation/cost-benefitanalysisandtheenvironmentrecentdevelopments.htm

Unger, P. W. (2006).&nbspSoiland water conservation handbook: policies, practices, conditions, andterms. Haworth Food &ampAgricultural Products Press.