Factors Affecting Water Usage From Texas' Colorado River
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Rapidly increasing population along with episodes of drought puts a substantial strain on water resources in parts of the state of Texas. Thus, sustainable and long-term management of the future of water supply has become the priority among the state agencies and water managers. With municipal water demand expected to increase in the future it is important to understand the drivers of residential water demand in Texas. This study focuses on the Colorado River basin, which represents one of the largest basins delivering water to 41 counties across the state. Importantly, in order to meet the future needs for water, counties that typically rely on the Colorado River will likely be forced to depend increasingly on limited groundwater reserves in the future. A greater rate of depletion of these ground water reserves and their disappearance due to drought in turn, may threaten the long-term availability of water from the Colorado River basin. In this research we analyze the effects of climate patterns, socioeconomic factors, and land use patterns on per capita municipal water usage from the Colorado River across counties over the period from 1971 to 2014. Using fixed effects panel regression analysis methods, water usage from the Colorado River is found to be significantly determined by population density, home values, ethnicity, age, annual precipitation, and the number of hot days (temperature exceeding 29.44C) during summer months, along with urban structure. Results suggest that areas with greater annual precipitation and a higher housing price index tend to have a higher per capita municipal water usage. With regards to population demographics, results suggest that areas with a lower minority population and lower percentage of children (19 years old and younger) have a lower per capita municipal water usage. Results pertaining to urban structure suggest that counties adjacent to a metropolitan county have the highest per capita municipal water usage, urban counties the next highest, followed by metropolitan counties, and rural counties which have the lowest per capita municipal water usage.
Garcia, Rosa Marie (2019). Factors Affecting Water Usage From Texas' Colorado River. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from