In 2000 the U.S. Congress authorized the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). At an estimated cost of $7.8 billion, it represents the most ambitious effort in recent U.S. history to reform a water management infrastructure. This infrastructure is located in South Florida and controls water in the Everglades. As the title of this plan indicates, the effort to reform this water manipulation system is being promoted as a means to restore the health of the Everglades eco-system. By placing CERP within a historical context, the author of this paper demonstrates that CERP is a continuation of the historic process to utilize the Everglades - its land, water and soil - as a means to maximize capital accumulation. This process has been led and shaped by economic elites and producer groups, which is consistent with the business dominance view of the policymaking process. Finally, the portrayal of CERP as an effort to restore the health of the Everglades eco-system obfuscates the fact that it is predominately a water supply plan designed to further urban growth, and that CERP contains some significant hazards for the environment in the Everglades.
- United States
- Water management
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science