The Local Groundwater Economy in Los Angeles County, California

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Date

1994

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Abstract

"The governance and management of water use in the United States generally, and in southern California in particular, are not organized as an ideal legal-rational centralized administration or as a perfectly competitive private market. This fact poses challenges to analysis that the local public economies (LPE) framework developed at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis helps to resolve. "The LPE framework enlarges the possibilities for descriptive and prescriptive analysis of interorganizational relations. It is based on the idea that an understanding of current arrangements is an important prerequisite to the issuance of prescriptions for reform. That view, which has informed work on metropolitan area governmental organization (e.g., ACIR, 1987), suggests that analysts 'begin to search for the nature of the order which exists in the complex of relationships among governmental units and abandon the assumption that all of these relationships are unique or random.' By searching for 'the nature of the order which exists' and 'an analysis of how the system works,' (Ostrom and Ostrom, 1965: 138) one can arrive at descriptions of current arrangements. Discussion of shortcomings and recommendations for improvements can follow, while the ultimate evaluations of the performance of public officials and governmental structures are left to citizens."

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water resources, groundwater, Workshop, local public economy

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