Public Attitudes toward Water Management and Drought in the United States
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Water management is becoming increasingly salient as climate change continues to alter the environment, resulting in more severe and frequent droughts. To address water management issues, large-scale projects may be needed. However, public support is often a prerequisite for governments at all levels to enact such projects. Given the growing importance of these issues, there are few recent studies that explore public attitudes, preferences, and risk assessments about water-related resource allocations. Will the public act to constrain the actions of their elected officials? Is the public ready to begin considering policies, regulations, and expenditures that address the potential impacts of increased drought frequency on local, state and national water resources? This research reports the results of two national public opinion surveys in the United States that focused on water management and drought issues. The results indicate that the public is willing to support government efforts to manage water, but not if they negatively affect the environment or agriculture. This 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.
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Stoutenborough, James W.; Vedlitz, Arnold (2013). Public Attitudes toward Water Management and Drought in the United States. Available electronically from