Dr. Vedlitz, ISTPP Director Emeritus and Distinguished Research Scholar, Dr. Stoutenborough, ISTPP Senior Research Fellow, and Mr. Mahafza, a graduate student at Auburn University, examine the role of proximity to major water sources in Texan’s perceptions of risk of water scarcity. From a theoretical perspective, this project will aid our collective understanding of problem identification. The research team tests their model of problem identification and risk assessment using data from ISTPP’s 2013 Texas Public Water Policy Survey, which was supported by Texas Sea Grant NA10OAR4170099. They combine the survey data with Geographical Information Systems to quantify the distances between water nearby water sources and each survey respondent’s zip code. They find that an individuals’ proximity to water sources is a predictor of their water scarcity perceptions. Texans who live closer to water sources (both bodies of water and rivers/streams) are more likely to believe that the state has enough water to meet current needs. Similarly, Texans who live closer to a river or stream are more likely to believe that the state will have enough water to meet future needs.
Mahafza, Zachary B., James W. Stoutenborough, and Arnold Vedlitz. 2017. “The Role of Proximity in Problem Identification: Risk of Water Scarcity in Texas.” Water Policy 19(1): 86–98. DOI: 10.2166/wp.2016.021