Case #121.1

Central Utah Project (Sequel)

Publication Date: January 01, 1978
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This case examines Interior Secretary Rogers Morton's decision to continue construction of the Bonneville unit of the Central Utah Project (CUP), a $2.1 billion multi-purpose water resource project. Part A outlines the background of the CUP and the various problems it faced with environmentalists, sportsmen, Indians, and economists. Appendices include recommendations from Morton's principal advisers, who were split on the question of whether to continue with construction. Part B details the water needs the CUP is meant to address, the background of the Bonneville Unit, alternatives to the CUP, and the conflicts surrounding the issue. Also available as a supplement is a memo from Assistant Secretary Laurence E. Lynn, Jr. which outlines the three issues he feels Morton must address and concludes with his recommendation to reformulate the Bonneville Unit. The sequel to the case reveals Morton's decision to go through with the project and the eventual fate of the CUP.

Learning Objective:
This case offers an example of a public manager pressed into action by forces outside his control (here, the construction schedule and public outcry). It illustrates the value of an analytic approach to such decisions and the types of analysis available to the policymaker under a tight time constraint. Finally the case points to the necessity of balancing political, bureaucratic, and substantive considerations.

Other Details

Case Author:
Theodore Bogosian
Faculty Lead:
Laurence Lynn
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States