Support for Local Governments in Groundwater Protecction
Allee, David J.
Local government capacity--its ability to do what it wants to do--is often inadequate to protect groundwater from contamination. Yet many of the steps in the conventional prescription for groundwater protection call for activities that are virtually the exclusive province of local governments. Not the least of these is land use control--yet the boundary problem alone limits the ability of local governments to act adequately. As in many other problems, federations of local governments need to be supported by federal/state partnership programs. In this problem low capacity rural governments are a major potential. Several agencies with state and local networks stand poised to , or are already in the game. there are some good reasons to have a variety of agencies involved as is the case in most complex public issues. Local governments are accustomed to coordinating state and federal agencies. But improved results can be expected if one or more of these responding programs explicitly tailor their efforts to build local management capacity. A variety of tools are available and should be explored by educational and federal assistance agencies such as Cooperative Extension and the Soil and Conservation Service for research programs such as the U.S. Geological Survey., and action programs such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University