WASHINGTON—Cost-sharing arrangements and user fees may take on new prominence in the scientific community with the appointment of a federal official who has applied that approach successfully to federal water projects.

Robert K. Dawson, named last month as associate director for natural resources, energy and science within the Office of Management and Budget, believes the private sector should share the cost of federal programs as one step in curbing the budget deficit. He has spent the past six years with the Army's Corps of Engineers, most recently as assistant secretary for civil works, where he won praise for overseeing passage last fall of the $16 billion Water Resources Act.

"His clear understanding of the administration's and the department's goals, and his ability to manage effectively, have led to major accomplishments," reads the distinguished civilian service award he received when he left the Pentagon May 3. "Especially noteworthy was his role...

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