Water Grand Challenges: Policy and Education Driven Water Conservation
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Given the long tradition in Texas of independently addressing and solving problems, it is not surprising that a similar methodology has been enacted to confront water conservation. There are many approaches to achieving a more effectual use of Texas waters and, as conservation efforts become more important with residents, Texas has begun to implement various conservation programs that have had differing levels of success. As the need for water rises, especially during drought, the approaches to effective water resource management need to change with demand. The Texas Water Development Board's (TWDB) 2012 Texas Water Plan lays out a proposal to increase water supply through a variety of means. According to TWDB projections, 34% of future water supply will have to come from effective water conservation efforts in order to meet demand.1 The strategies for conservation approached by the state rest within three main methods: incentive driven policy that offers financial rewards for those who implement water conservation, coercive driven policy that punishes those who fail to meet a certain level of conservation, and education policies that attempt to give individuals and communities the tools to reach conservation goals voluntarily.