A National Strategy is Needed to Prevent the Coming Water War: The Mississippi River Watershed Shows Us Why
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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The Mississippi River watershed is currently managed as six separate basins including the Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Arkansas, and Upper and Lower Mississippi Rivers. This research pulls together several system components navigation, flood control, environmental, municipal and industrial uses, and geopolitical concerns and proposes treating the entire watershed as a system. The current problem is that actions taken in one basin often have consequences in another. This results in inefficient oversight, environmental harm, and adds to the cost of watershed management. These problems stem from the lack of a national water strategy. This thesis proposes a national water strategy and the formation of a regional planning body RPB, with the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan as a guide, to coordinate watershed planning. The watershed RPB would also coordinate inter-basin activities with the Great Lakes and Gulf of Mexico RPBs. Implementing the recommendations presented in this thesis is made difficult by the complexity of the watershed s ecosystem, the interconnectedness of the system components, the current legal framework for water rights, the myriad congressional oversight committees, numerous non-government organizations, and the many state, tribal, and local jurisdictions with a stake in the outcome.
- Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology