Public attitudes toward water management and drought in Texas

James W. Stoutenborough, Arnold Vedlitz


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 find that the public is willing to support government efforts to manage water, but not if these efforts negatively affect the environment or agriculture.


water management, drought issues, public attitudes, risk assessments, Texas drought

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Texas Water Journal

The Texas Water Journal is an online, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the timely consideration of Texas water resources management, research, and policy issues from a multidisciplinary perspective that integrates science, engineering, law, planning, and other disciplines. It also provides updates on key state legislation and policy changes by Texas administrative agencies. The journal is published by the Texas Water Journal, a nonprofit organization, in cooperation with the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife.

ISSN 2160-5319
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