Changing the Way we Look at Water: A Soft Path Approach to Groundwater Management in San Antonio, TX
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Water stress and water scarcity are significant problems across the globe, and rising populations will see increasing demand for water as well. Traditional supply and demand management strategies have had some success, but projections based on these strategies will predict a water deficit in the coming years in cities such as San Antonio, TX. The soft path paradigm offers an alternative water management strategy with the potential to greatly reduce or eliminate San Antonio's projected water deficit. This study discusses the barriers and opportunities involved in implementing a soft path approach to groundwater management in San Antonio. Implementation of a new paradigm will depend in large part on the local and state water management institutions charged with managing San Antonio's water resources. Employees of several such institutions were surveyed to determine their level of environmental concern (measured by the New Environmental Paradigm (NEP) scale) and agreement with soft path principles. Results suggest that environmental concern and support for soft path principles are correlated, and study respondents exhibited both pro-NEP and pro-soft path responses.