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Title: Evolution of the institutional structure of Scottish water management, 1929-1977
Author: Pitkethly, A. S.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1980
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This thesis presents an account of the evolution of laws, policies and the administrative agencies concerned with water management Scotland since the 1930s. A heavy emphasis on matters of water supply and water quality reflects the approach to water resources adopted in Scotland although matters of land drainage, fisheries and further aspects of water management are briefly considered to highlight the contrast between conditions in Scotland and those in England and Wales. The study is mainly based on literary sources of an official nature but also draws on the writings of contemporary water managers and others. An interpretation is offered under three main headings, viz: the allocation of functions within and between agencies; the criteria used to define administrative areas; and factors influencing the nature and pace of change. The externalities of securing water supplies in Scotland have not engendered a holistic approach to the management of river basins, in marked contrast to experience south of the border. Differences between the types and tasks of water management are shown to have lain at the root of many of the problems and institutional responses considered. A steady growth in the influence of central government is traced and the emergence of the Scottish Development Department in 1962 identified as a key factor in explaining recent changes in institutional structure. Central government's role, however, is also seen to have been peculiarly constrained because of the unique constitutional position of the Scottish Office. A desire to maximise the representation of existing institutionalised interest groups has consistently shaped the areal pattern of administrative agencies. An inappropriate pattern of agencies led to problems of water supply and sewage treatment in a country where resources can truly be enumerated in terms of 'a measure of plenty' but where progress towards cleaner water has been slow. Wider social and economic goals, however, gave rise to the pattern that finally emerged. Changes have occurred in an incremental and disjointed fashion. Differences over objectives, deficiencies in the availability of information and a shortage of skilled managers preconditioned a reliance on precedent for much of the period under consideration except when 'disjoints' occurred through the adoption of policies already established in England and Wales and through the addition of the Scottish Development Department to the scene.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available