Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Community Planning (MCP)


Community Planning and Area Development

First Advisor

Howard H. Foster, Jr.


Allocation planning is the process by which decisions are made as to who will get how much of what resource. It also implies that the resource is scarce and in need of management. The primary goal of allocative water resource planning, therefore, is to create a process by which water is managed so that its use is maximized by all consumers.

Historically, water resource allocation in the United States has been through adjudication rather than by legislation. Prior appropriation, riparian right, or some combination of the two have formed the basis of water law in court decisions. Both allocation systems hinge on the concept that water rights are usufructuary--the water itself is used but never owned in substance (Goldfarb 1988:11). Instead, rights to use of the water are obtained. Riparian rights, more fully described in Chapter Two, are water rights given to abutters of watercourses. Prior appropriation is described as "qui prior est in tempore, potoir est in jure" or, more simply, first in time, first in right (Meyers and Tarlock 1971:77). Both systems are primarily concerned with stream flow as opposed to groundwater or diffused overland flow.