ISTPP’s Dr. Kent Portney presented research on governance of the food-energy-water nexus, with a focus on the Metropolitan San Antonio Area and the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer System, at the Texas A&M Law School’s 10th Annual Energy Law Symposium. Additionally, Portney discussed how nexus-related challenges increase inefficiencies in allocating and protecting water, food, and other pertinent common pool resources.
Portney analyzed responses to a survey administered to decision makers in agencies with legal jurisdiction over water in the San Antonio area. The questionnaire asked respondents about the substance and frequency of contacts and interactions with other water decision makers and decision makers at sixteen energy and twelve food/agriculture agencies.
Survey results suggest that while there are fifty-eight independent government agencies and organizations with legal authority over water in the Metropolitan San Antonio Region, there is little nexus governance in the Metropolitan San Antonio Region. Additionally, there is a significant difference in governance practices between water and energy as well as agriculture and energy, and fragmentation in nexus decision-making processes is currently the status quo. Portney concludes that future research needs to determine whether the structure of nexus resource governance is driven by the nature of nexus-related problems or if institutional structures and formal relations between governing agencies inhibits collaboration.
Portney, Kent. 2019. “Governing the Water-Energy Nexus in the Metropolitan San Antonio Region.” Paper presented at the Texas A&M Law School’s 10th Annual Energy Symposium, Fort Worth, TX, February 22.