IWA Publishing

The role of proximity in problem identification: risk of water scarcity in Texas

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

This project seeks to determine whether proximity to major water sources (e.g. rivers or lakes) is associated with the public's perception of water scarcity. From a theoretical perspective, this project will aid our collective understanding of problem identification. From a practical perspective, this relationship could help inform decision makers about where support or resistance to a water policy may be concentrated and allow more targeted efforts to help inform citizens about short- and long-term water policy needs. Knowing the influence of local conditions on public support for policy action is particularly important as water policies are primarily the domain of local and state governments. We utilize Geographical Information Systems to quantify the distances between survey respondents and various water sources to attempt to determine the effect individuals' proximity to water sources has on their opinions about water scarcity. The analyses reveal that proximity is a predictor of water scarcity perceptions, and the implications of these findings are discussed.

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