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Question#2. Competency: to participate in and contribute to the public policy process

You are a legislative assistant to the Chief Administrator for a California County (you select which one). The CAO was tasked by the Board of Supervisors to initiate a new Water Management Policy for the County. The CAO has tasked you to write the initial brief for the process. In that brief, you need to

  1. a) identify the policy issues;
  2. b) identify the stakeholders- both public and private and what their concerns are;
  3. c) articulate the policy process and how you will seek to manage it
  4. d) Suggest what the biggest problem is and how you recommend addressing it.


  1. Identify the policy issues: (C.A.C)
  • Clean water
    • Water filtration system
    • Safe water sources
    • Accessibility
    • Infrastructure (PPP) – plants, pipes & pumps
  • Affordable water
    • Budget (for providers and users)
    • Agricultural Return on investment (ROI)
  • Conservation
    • Ethically & Sustainibly sourced
    • Environmentally friendly
    • Best practices


  1. Identify the stakeholders-both public and private and what their concerns are:

Stakeholder Analysis:

Intergovernmental Relations – Compliance and communication among all levels of govt.

  • In democracy there are many interest groups who are affected differently by public policy.
  • Public managers/leaders have to navigate different stakeholder groups and be aware of their interests and perspectives.
  • When policies are proposed to legislators—interest groups will lobby their positions. If we have not consulted and worked with all parties, they may block progress in the legislative arena.
  • Stakeholders may or may not agree with the policy.
  • Run the risk of stakeholders not agreeing w policy and in turn vote that elected official out of office.


  1. Articulate the policy process and how you will seek to manage it


  • Explains how we are seeking to manage the process:


6 STEPS ( A.F.L.I.E.C)


1.Agenda Setting– define the problem

  • Research current water mgmt issues

By: Collect data. Find out what is causing it? Are sources being wasted?FLUFF: Consider: Are resources being wasted? How many are being affected?


  1. Policy Formulation – Outline policy goals & strategies
  • Gather experts (water & environmental) to discuss the problem & how it can be solved.

By: using tools such as cost benefit analysis, cost effectiveness analysis and brainstorming.


  1. Policy Legitimation – Get political support
  • Propose the policy to legislatures

By: engaging with stakeholders to get political support.

  • The County Board of Supervisors will vote to enact or not.


4.Policy Implementation

  • Put the policy into effect.

By: awareness campaigns, staff training/development.

  • Assessment & accountability


  1. Policy and Program Evaluation
  • Assessment & accountability

By: Monitoring effectiveness

  • FLUFF: We will analyze the effectiveness of our new policy to help manage water resources and how successful it is (evaluation).


  1. Policy Change / Termination
  • Use evaluation to make changes or replace policy altogether.


If evaluation says this policy is not working, what can we do to make it work or does it need to be cancelled altogether? If our research shows the new policy is not working, what can we do?


  1. Suggest what the biggest problem is and how you recommend addressing it.


**Biggest Problem: Meeting the concerns of both internal and external stakeholders such as:  Quality of water, cost and Equity


Quality of Water:

-Assess the conditions of water facilities, water sources

-Assess the conditions on how water is being delivered to the consumers.

-Water testing & contamination

  • Work with county engineers & water specialists to suggest infrastructure & water improvements.
  • Enforce regulations to meet standards set by health agencies so consumers have quality water.
    • Plan B: Working w/ other water districts to have a plan in place in case of water scarcity.


       -Contracting: Analyze the costs for San Bernardino County vs. privatization to implement the policy.

  • Seek funding: federal/state grants
  • consider possible partnerships



  • Accessibility (Ensuring that everyone in our county has safe, reliable, and affordable water).
  • Progressive water policy that is intersectional and seeks to eliminate disparities in access across different racial demographics and socio-economic areas.
  • For ex: Human Rights to Water Act 2012 (Cali) or Compton

***when your water is F’d up Beverly Hills vs. SB


** Example of Compton

For example, currently the city of Compton area that is coming from the Sativa Water District is coming out discolored and residents do not want to use it. Los Angeles County Public Works took over management of the water district stating “as the Interim Administrator, the County will assess the condition of Sativa’s existing water facilities and identify improvements to deliver safe drinking water. Based on this assessment, the County will make critical operational changes and infrastructure improvements working closely with the State to ensure that water quality meets all regulatory standards” (Director Mark Pestrella Los Angeles County Public Works).


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