Binational Water Management: Perspectives of Local Texas Officials in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region
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Purpose: The purpose of this Applied Research Project is to assess the attitudes and opinions of local Texas government officials that manage water resources in the U.S.-Mexico border region. Previous research on binational water management in Texas has not included the attitudes and opinions of local Texas officials in the border area. Although negotiations on binational water management take place at the level of the U.S. Department of State, the administration of binational water management strategies takes place at the local level. The inclusion of local Texas officials' attitudes and opinions will make a valuable contribution to any future debates of binational water management strategies and will be important to finding the management strategies with the most potential for success. Method: To satisfy the research purpose, this Applied Research Project used survey research. The issues identified in the scholarly literature were used to develop two conceptual frameworks that served as the basis for the survey instrument. One hundred and seventy-two local Texas government officials that manage water resources in the U.S.-Mexico border region were administered the survey either electronically or by mail. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the results. Findings: The results of this survey show strong support for making changes to the treaty that governs binational management of the Rio Grande. Additionally, there was support for some water conservation techniques. Further, local officials indicated that specific barriers kept them from cooperating fully with their Mexican counterparts. Lastly, local officials indicated that they use several modes of communication to educate the public on water issues and to invite the public to water policy discussions.