Public attitudes toward water management and drought in Texas
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Water management in Texas is increasingly salient as the population grows, water supplies continue to be taxed and the planet continues to warm, resulting in more severe, widespread, and frequent droughts in the state. Public support, though, is often essential for governments to enact large-scale projects, like those that may be needed to tackle water management issues. Given the challenges facing the state of Texas, surprisingly few studies explore public attitudes, preferences, and risk assessments about water-related resource allocations. Will the public act to direct or limit the actions of its elected officials on water issues? Is the public ready to consider policies, regulations, and expenditures concerning the potential impacts of increased drought frequency on Texas water resources? We report the results of 2 public opinion surveys of the citizens of Texas that focused on water management and drought issues. We found that the public is willing to support government efforts to manage water, but not if these efforts negatively affect the environment or agriculture.
DescriptionThis material is based upon research conducted by the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy in The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. This research was supported by Texas Sea Grant under Award No. NA10OAR4170099 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce; by the Texas A&M University Office of the Vice President for Research; and the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Texas Sea Grant, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or the Department of Commerce.
Stoutenborough, James W.; Vedlitz, Arnold (2013). Public attitudes toward water management and drought in Texas. Texas Water Resources Institute. Available electronically from