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Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy

The Bush School of Government and Public Service

Texas A&M University
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ISTPP Researchers Portney and Hannibal Publish Paper on Cooperation of FEW Nexus Stakeholders in San Antonio Region

Drs. Kent Portney and Bryce Hannibal published a paper with Bassel Daher, doctoral candidate in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M University, and Dr. Rabi Mohtar, Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the American University of Beirut titled “Toward Creating an Environment of Cooperation between Water, Energy, and Food Stakeholders in San Antonio” in Science of the Total Environment.

The authors analyze existing levels of cooperation between regulators of food, energy, and water in the greater area of San Antonio, TX. This region, one of the fastest growing in the United States, also has expanding energy and agriculture sectors. This growth is straining available food, energy, and water resources. The efficient allocation of these resources can be constrained or enhanced by communication and coordination between stakeholders responsible for making decisions about food, energy, and water systems.

To identify the frequency and nature of communications among the nexus stakeholders, the authors surveyed public water officials in the San Antonio region. They collected information on stakeholder concerns, communication, and participation in engagement forums. The authors used social network analysis to delineate which types of agencies communicate and how often. They find that while there is little communication among water regulators, there is a very low level of dialogue between water agencies and agencies responsible for food and energy. They also find that there are increased levels of communication among water regulators that participate in stakeholder engagement activities. The authors recommend that more research be done on the medium and quality of communication that corresponds with higher levels of coordination between regulatory authorities.

Daher, Bassel, Bryce Hannibal, Kent E. Portney, and Rabi H. Mohtar. 2019. “Toward Creating an Environment of Cooperation between Water, Energy, and Food Stakeholders in San Antonio,” Science of the Total Environment 651: 2913–2926.