|Abstract or Summary
- Oregon possesses a diversity of natural resources from the dense rain-soaked forests of the Coastal and Cascade ranges to the deep, fertile soils of the Willamette Valley to the arid and semi-arid Snake River Basin. In the Willamette Valley, water resources sustain agriculture, municipalities, hydropower, fish and wildlife, flood control, and allow for greater economic opportunity. However, with climate change and rising population and water users, water abundance is an ongoing concern. There is a need for policy tools to deal with Willamette Valley water use and management issues further complicated by limited scientific knowledge and public value uncertainty. Understanding the role that geographic, economic, social, and psychological factors play in influencing policy preferences is vital to managing water resources effectively and minimizing controversy. Using a mail survey of 1,402 landowners, this study examined attitudes toward prospective water allocation policies across three locations in the Willamette Valley to determine how geography, perceptions about water, environmental beliefs, and socioeconomic characteristics influence the acceptability of these policy measures. Analysis revealed linkages between participation in agriculture, environmental beliefs, and attitudes toward specific policy initiatives. Socioeconomic characteristics such as tenure, gender, age, education, and income as well as social psychological variables such as environmental worldview and environmental beliefs related to water management were also linked to water policy preferences. Similarities and differences in attitudes toward policy among respondents revealed widespread opinions about the acceptability and theoretical implications of prospective policy initiatives.