Addressing the future of water in Oregon : a look at the human and institutional factors shaping Oregon water management Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6t053k270

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  • Oregon is a state with great social and ecological diversity. Unfortunately however, Oregon's water-rich reputation is more rumor than reality. As with many Western states, Oregon struggles with water scarcity, especially during dry summer months. Recent efforts by the state to develop an integrated water resource strategy (IWRS) to manage present and future water demand in Oregon signifies the very real concern that water is no longer as abundant and available as it once was. With the predicted impacts of climate change and population growth, the already-strained water supply will unlikely sustain current water needs. Using a statewide mail survey of 1,537 Oregon residents (2010), a second survey of 390 water stakeholders (2011), and 12 semi-structured interviews conducted in 2010 and 2011 of stakeholders and elected officials this dissertation examined the role of sociodemographic attributes and environmental values pertaining to concern about Oregon’s water supply, climate change, water conservation behaviors, and prioritization of water use. Data analysis (regression analysis) revealed that to varying degrees gender, age, education, income, concern about water scarcity and belief in the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) proved reliable predicators of concern about that water quantity is a problem, that Oregonians will be personally affected by water scarcity, and personal water conservation behaviors. The dissertation further applies the Institutional and Analysis Development (IAD) framework to the current efforts by the state to create and IWRS. Recommendations for successful application of the IWRS are discussed, specifically use of adaptive governance in basin and sub-basin planning efforts.
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