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Public Management and Administration of Water Scarcity Scenario
You are a successful upper manager at an important federal agency. The President and Congress have become concerned about scarcity of potable water in the United States. (Water levels in lakes, reservoirs, and rivers have been dropping steadily, perhaps as a result of climate changes.) Because of the faith the President and Congress have in you, you have been confirmed as the head of a new but relatively small agency to address this threat. In an unusual move, you are given adequate funding and a free hand in designing this new agency. What do you want this agency to look like? How big would it be? What kind of organizational design would you want? How will it behave?
From a purely knowledge-oriented perspective, the current drought may be due to a variety of causal factors, including climate shifts, poor conservation, or a contamination of such factors. The origins water sacristy, after all, likely varies from region to region within the nation, although the causes will likely be holistic in nature, and require a national initiative on a variety of levels, to reduce, for instance, the consumption of fossil fuels that create the greenhouse effect. As early as 2004, in Scientific American, Peter Glieck stated that a study of chemical emissions in the earth's atmosphere "concluded that with a high degree of confidence that global climate is going to change. There's a very strong consensus in the scientific community now that climate change is a real problem -- that it's coming." (Glieck, cited by Brad Kloza, 2004)
In this 2015 scenario, very clearly climate change is more than 'coming' -- it has come. Of course, even under ideal circumstances, "nothing we can do to prevent some climate change from occurring," and climate changes are an international as well as a national phenomenon, although change, in this case, must begin at home. "But in addition the assessment concluded, as has much of the scientific community," there was a consensus as early as the 20th century that the earth had already seen evidence of global warming and that this global warming, combined with an escalating population and waste of water in all areas of the nation was "already having an impact on the water resources of the United States." In 2001, Peter Glieck stated "we're already seeing changes in the timing of runoff, we're seeing changes in temperature and increases in sea level, we're seeing changes in storm patterns in the U.S. The reality is climate change is a real thing, and we're not prepared to deal with it." (Glieck, cited by Brad Kloza, 2004)
Thus, on a level of comprehension, clearly there is a drought, and the reasons for the drought must first be determined, although one of the most likely causes is global warming. Once the specific reasons for the potential and existing water shortages are determined, these reasons must be addressed, from global warming to the other exacerbating factors. It should be added that simply because some areas are not in acute drought at present does not mean that the water shortage will not affect them. "As the earth warms up, that's going to cause a whole series of changes to things that we care about in the water area: changes in precipitation patterns, changes in how much water evaporates from the surface of the earth, the way snow falls and the way snow melts. And one of the most important impacts that the National Assessment identified was the effect that rising temperatures will have on snow. In particular, the way that rising temperatures will change what would have been snow perhaps into rain. (Glieck, cited by Brad Kloza, 2004)
By changes in precipitation patterns, this may mean that even areas that are undergoing heavy precipitation may be part of the problem, although this may be difficult for residents of the areas to understand. In other words, the effects of global warming are often to cause violent rainstorms in some areas and great droughts in others, resulting in more extreme weather circumstances overall. In applying this information, thus, as an organizer intending to address this difficult situation from an environmental and a political point-of-view, he or she must ask, what effective organizational structures can be implemented to answer the questions of why, how, and what solution to implement to address the immediate problems of the drought, other extreme weather conditions generated by the climatic factors that cause the drought, and the long-term problems of global warming and a lack of conservation that cause the problems?
Clearly, to determine the 'why' there is a drought occurring, a team of scientists and meteorologists are necessary, to work in concordance with those who will determine the actual policy. The organization must be regionally dispatched, given the nature of the lack of precipitation in some areas and the overabundance of precipitation in other areas. For instance, in the Western U.S., much of the precipitation actually comes in a very short period of time. When this time of year is affected by out-of -- the ordinary climatic conditions, a drought will quickly occur. California for example, gets almost no rain at all between May and October. In the mountains in the Western United States, most of that precipitation falls as snow. It is then stored in the mountains as snow pack. When it melts up in the spring, it begins to run off, and that runoff feeds our rivers and lakes and streams throughout the drier parts of the year. When water managers grow overly dependent on that snow pack, again a drought can occur. (Glieck, cited by Brad Kloza, 2004)
However, drought conditions in certain areas of the country are often paired with a temporary overabundance of water, causing communities to waste that water and to mitigate the dangers of the cause of global warming. Scientists must prove the causes and reasons for the drought, which may include global warming, and provide solutions on a national and international level. However, public relations managers and advertisers must disseminate these solutions in an effective manner, even to communities that are not directly affected by them. Since the problem of global warming is international in nature, the federal government must take efforts to liaise with international authorities to combat the problem, as no singular nation can address the problem.
The analysis of the problem of the drought is thus extremely complex. To analyze, test, compare, contrast, appraise, discriminate, categorize, appraise and criticize the various solutions and causes being bandied about, firstly, a team of scientists must be sent into the field to assess drought conditions across the nation, analyzing the regional implications and then developing them into a holistic program with policy makers that was financially feasible and politically expedient. This last factor might be difficult to achieve without the help of politically savvy individuals from a think tank or professional lobbyists, given that individuals currently in congress strong with political ties might be biased according to their immediate political and regional interests, with little eye upon the future.
Also the appearance as well as the reality of the organization's objectivity would be key in creating this organization internally as well as addressing the actual causes of the drought -- one would want data that was not unduly influenced by scientist's political biases or by politician's or corporate desires to allow businesses continue to emit hazardous chemicals and fossil fuels. Although various industrial interests that states might have depending on their transportation structures and need might satisfy short-term economic goals, the organization must have the long-term on its mind, thus have a strong analytical framework in its structure. In the classical analyzer organizational model, there are always "two types of product-market domains, one relatively stable, the other changing," in…[continue]
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