Balancing Multiple Goals at the Local Level: Water Quality, Water Equity, and Water Conservation
While there is a nationwide, overarching federal structure that pursues the goal of clean water, most efforts to provide clean water are seen at the local level. This paper looks at how local governments work to provide clean and safe water supplies while balancing the demands of fairness, justice, and conservation ethics. This paper is organized into three parts. Part I looks at water quality, which is underpinned by two basic federal statutes, the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Part II, titled Water Equity, will discuss fairness and justice in water availability. Part III concerns water conservation, not only in terms of environmental ethics but also as it is connected both with water quality and water equity. For example, water conservation may have a long-term benefit of lowering the cost of water delivery while increasing prices for consumers in the short term (Introduction).