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politan Water District of Southern California. A number of factors account for the separate handling of regional functions in metropolitan areas.

The natural service areas for water, sewage disposal, planning, transportation, and other functions usually do not coincide. Closely related are the preferences and pressures of the technicians, who are influenced by both technical and personal considerations. Sewer or water engineers are more likely to predominate in singlefunction organizations than in multipurpose agencies. Differences in the timetable of needs also foster the single-purpose approach. Since regional agencies usually are created in response to the most pressing problems that cannot be handled satisfactorily on a less inclusive basis, a single-purpose agency to handle the particular function is a natural solution.

Political feasibility is another explanation of the prevalence of single-function metropolitan agencies. The single-function approach does not pyramid conflicts. It tends to separate the population into those who are for or against a regional sewage agency or a metropolitan water supply district. The multipurpose approach produces an overlap of opponents: those who are opposed to regional sewage, those who are opposed to regional water supply, those opposed to metropolitan transportation, and so on. The single-purpose approach also is more acceptable to the large number of people, particularly in the suburbs, who fear metropolitan government. A sewer or water district poses much less of a threat-regardless of whether the threat is real or imaginary--than a multipurpose district or a broader met ropolitan government, to the real or imagined prerogatives and viri ues of local governments.

Supporters of multipurpose metropolitan agencies are primarily and properly concerned with the inability of the present governmental structure in metropolitan areas to plan, program, budget, and allocate for a range of governmental functions on an area wide basis. They see a particular service problem, such as inadequate sewage disposal or an inability to guarantee future water supply, as the cutting edge for general purpose metropolitan instrumentalities. They fear singlepurpose solutions which remove the pressures for comprehensive multifunctional approaches. Those who are skeptical of any form of regionalism are likely to embrace the single function approach when the alternative is the provision of the particular service on a regional basis by a still stronger metropolitan government.

The State of Washington's Metropolitan Municipal Corporations Act of 1957, the enabling legislation for the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle, provides a halfway house between the single purpose district and multifunctional metropolitan government. The enabling legislation makes the machinery of metropolitan government available for one or more of the following functions: Sewage disposal, water supply, public transportation, parks and parkways, garbage disposal, and comprehensive planning. In 1957 there was an unsuccessful effort in the Seattle area to secure popular approval of a metropolitan government empowered to perform sewage, transportation, and planning functions. A second vote the same year on a les inclusive proposal, both geographically and functionally, was successful. The areas in which there was a heavy negative vote on the initial proposal were omitted and Metro's powers were limited to the sewage function.

To date, the municipality of Metropolitan Seattle has done a competent job in developing a regional sewage system. But it is not a metropolitan government; it cannot plan and allocate resources for the full range of functions, nor can it assess priorities among these functions. It is staffed by personnel whose primary training is in the planning and development of sewage facilities. Seattle's Metro considers expansion primarily in sewer terms. There is a strong possibility that the founders of Seattle's Metro, most of whom strongly favor general multipurpose metropolitan government, have created an instrumentality which will develop a narrow utility orientation rather than a broad concern for the overall community and its full range of developmental needs. While the waste disposal system being planned and developed by Metro already has had an impact on development patterns in the region, the metropolitan government lacks a general planning function and general purpose planners. Serious questions can be raised about the competency of sanitary engineers to guide overall development in a metropolitan area.

In spite of its obvious shortcomings as long as its activity focuses on a single function, the Seattle approach offers more promise for long-range development of utilities in conjunction with other community activities than a unifunctional district or authority could. As metro Seattle's founder, James R. Ellis, has noted:

The Seattle story is not one of an all-out attack upon the tangle of metropolitan growth. The community is not now ready to accept the Metro approach to a number of problems which will soon demand area wide attention. It is rather the story of preparing for growth by creating a flexible metropolitan agency capable of dealing with one tough areawide problem and elastic enough to tackle other problems as they arrive.?

In the technical and political context of most metropolitan areas, perhaps this is the best that can be achieved in organizing water and sewage service on a regional basis.



The States occupy a strategic role in the solution of urban water problems. As the creators and overseers of local government, they can grant or withhold the governmental and financial tools necessary for metropolitan problem solving. Policies relating to allocation and regulation are extremely important for the development of urban water supplies, the construction and operation of metropolitan sewage treatment facilities, and the control of unwise individual and small community water and waste systems. The States' greater geographical area and more diversified water resources often make them a more logical unit than the metropolitan area for comprehensive planning and development on the basis of watersheds, drainage basins, and river basins. The role of the States in urban water resource planning and development undoubtedly will grow more important in the future. Increasingly, metropolitan areas will reach out for water sources far beyond their boundaries. The metropolitan areas will grow together into vast urban regions. And population concentrations and industrial development will intensify the pollution of water and demands for its reuse. Although the States jurisdiction is not large enough to

19 James R. Ellls, "Government for Growth, the Seattle Story," op. cit., p. 9.

provide a base for viable solution in all cases, it offers an attractive alternative in many instances, as fewer and fewer water problems can be handled adequately on a purely local basis.


Primary responsibility for the regulation of water quality rests at the State level. State agencies with water pollution responsibilities set standards, enforce laws and regulations, conduct surveys, and carry out a host of allied research and planning activities. The agencies involved vary from State to State. All State health departments have a branch which administers water pollution control programs. As the public health factor became relatively less important in water quality regulation and economic, conservation, and recreation considerations grew in significance, State water pollution control boards or commissions were created. More than half the States have such agencies. The remainder place primary responsibility for water pollution control in the State health department or a water resources agency. Water pollution control boards often include members from other State agencies with water responsibilites. Minnesota's Water Pollution Control Commission is composed of the commissioner of conservation, the executive engineer of the department of health, and representatives of the State board of health, State livestock and sanitation board, the commissioner of agriculture, and three members appointed by the Governor. Most State water pollution control boards or commissions have public members representing municipalities and industry.

All State health agencies regulate water and sewage facilities in urban areas. The division of sanitation engineering in the State health department normally certifies public water supplies and approves plans and specifications for new water works and extensions. Generally, it also has responsibility for insuring that public health and water pollution standards are met by municipal sewage treatment facilities. The emphasis in these programs is upon public health requirements.

In most States, the health agencies also have a role in new residential development. Most State legislatures require the health department to insure that adequate water and sewage facilities are being provided in new subdivisions. As the inadequacies of individual water supply and sewage disposal systems have become apparent, a number of States have adopted more stringent regulations in recent years. The primary concern of the health departments, however, has been the adequacy of suburban facilities in terms of public health considerations. Most State health agencies have paid relatively little attention to the diseconomies involved in the use of individual systems, the conservation of ground water supplies, and overall patterns of regional development.

State regulation of water quality includes a number of activities in addition to health department supervision and regulation. In most States, water pollution control agencies have the power to establish quality standards and to classify waters according to their best social and economic use. A number of States also prescribe the type of treatment that water users must provide to maintain the quality standard for a particular classification. Stream classification is most common in the East, where pollution has already seriously affected water quality. Several Western States utilize effluent regulations specifying permissible waste which particular water users may discharge. Euent standards are easier to enforce because they do not require the extensive surveys needed to establish a stream classification system; but stream classification gives greater attention to each of the key variables in quality control: water use, pollution loads, and streamflows.

Enforcement is the crucial aspect of State water quality regulation. Most States rely on a cooperative approach in dealing with water users who fail to meet the quality standards. New York State's enforcement procedure is fairly typical. After waters have been classified by the water resources commission, water users are required to prepare and adopt abatement programs. The water resources commission, before issuing administrative orders to secure compliance, holds informal conferences with each offender to discuss commission findings, the pollution abatement plan, and the action required of the municipality or industry. As a result of this procedure, it has seldom been necessary to issue administrative orders. Cooperation is undeniably the preferable method of securing compliance. In a few States, it has proved quite successful. However, in too many instances, the cooperative approach has been an excuse for inaction and inadequate enforcement of State water quality regulations.

Cooperation has been more successful in dealing with municipal pollution than with industrial pollution, in part because municipalities are more likely to benefit from improved water quality than a particular industry. Further, various State and Federal programs aid municipalities in meeting State standards, but rarely assist industry.

Serious economic and political repercussions can result from the enforcement of stringent pollution controls. As a result, they are seldom imposed. A number of States refuse to permit sewer extensions, in order to force compliance with orders to construct sewage treatment facilities. While this is an effective way of forcing local action, it has been utilized in only the most extreme cases. When the benefits of pollution abatement appear slight and the costs excessive, municipalities are likely to raise strong opposition to the efforts of a State pollution control agency. In Colorado, the State's aggressive water quality program has been challenged in the courts by the city of Denver which contends that the State does not have the authority to require the city to improve its treatment of waste.

Perhaps the most potent constraint on State pollution control is competition for new industry and the fear of driving existing industries from the State. Industries, concerned that their competitive position may be impaired by the cost of making up the tremendous backlog of industrial waste treatment, often threaten to move. Differentials among the States in standards and levels of enforcement make these threats credible. Industrial groups generally favor pollution standards based on public health requirements, liberal dilution of untreated waste, and strict controls only when the wastes have been proved harmful. In many States industrial operators have shown little concern for the recreational, wildlife, and esthetic values of water.


State governments have sought to facilitate more adequate provision of water and sewer services in urban areas through general enabling legislation permitting joint exercise of powers. Usually the State laws allow two or more local units of government to create an instrumentality to provide water or sewer service. For example, California permits the formation of sewer districts containing contiguous territory both incorporated or unincorporated. In Colorado, State law makes it possible for two or more local units of government to establish sewage districts. North Carolina's water and sewer act establishes legal machinery by which two or more counties, cities, towns, incorporated villages, sanitary districts, or other political subdirisions or public corporations may organize for the operation of water and sewer systems. A few States, including Michigan and Florida, authorize counties to construct and operate water and sewage systems. New York law provides for a wide range of cooperative activities among local governments.

State governments have provided a wide assortment of enabling legislation to permit more flexibility in financing methods, to ease statutory restrictions on local indebtedness, and to provide indirect and direct financial assistance. A number of States, including New Mexico, Oregon, and New Hampshire, purchase local water bonds. Under a program enacted in 1962, New York will match 50 percent of Federal annual allocations to the State for 30 percent grants to municipalities to construction sewage treatment works, as well as proside State aid for up to one-third of the annual operating and maintenance costs of new sewage treatment plants. Since 1953, Pennsylvania has paid over $3 million to municipalities in annual grants of up to 2 percent of the cost of sewage treatment facilities built after 1937. New Mexico has a small grant program for its unincorporated areas and a number of States, including Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Vermont, supplement Federal grants for sewage treatment facilities made under the Water Pollution Control Act of 1956.


Traditionally, the States have played a relatively minor role in the development of water resources, particularly in undertakings designed primarily to meet urban requirements. In recent years two StatesNew Jersey and California—have assumed responsibility for the development of water supply facilities to meet the growing needs of their heavily urban population.

The requirements for river basin development, problems of extraterritoriality, and the urbanization of all or the greater part of a State increase the prospects of State activity to provide urban water supplies. River basin planning and development is clearly beyond the capability of almost all metropolitan areas. When river basins are interstate, the State is the prime party in interstate agencies and in negotiations with Federal officials. The spread of urban development, the need to go farther afield for urban water supplies, and the increased capital requirements for such development, all reduce the capabilities of individual municipalities and metropolitan areas to secure and develop future sources of water.

The State arena offers advantages and disadvantages to the urban areas in their search for adequate future water supplies. Advantages include the States' greater scope for planning and development, their

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