In 1970, IWR’s Center for Advanced Planning began an examination of the Susquehanna River Basin Study being carried out by the Baltimore District. IWR researchers evaluated the public participation techniques that were applied in this multi-objective regional study. Supporting the Corps’ implementation of public participation was a central mission for IWR, and the Susquehanna effort provided researchers with a current case study of public involvement in a large regional setting.
After observing public meetings, interviewing residents, and analyzing surveys and questionnaires, IWR researchers concluded that the Corps’ public participation methods in the Susquehanna study were groundbreaking and effective means for incorporating public opinion into water resources planning. The IWR study found that public participation in the planning process was critical to developing an acceptable water resources project. By continually holding public events to solicit input, the Corps had made great strides in this critical aspect of project planning. These conclusions would guide subsequent IWR efforts to enhance public participation techniques in Corps field offices.