Public attitudes toward water management and drought in Texas
Vol. 4 No. 2 (2013). Cover photo: As Texas continues to face water challenges and drought, many communities are seeking to conserve water in various sectors, including lawn and landscape water use. ©Jose Manuel Gelpi Diaz, Crestock.


water management
drought issues
public attitudes
risk assessments
Texas drought


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.

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