Ideology and Local Solutions to the Tragedy of the Commons: West Texas Groundwater Policy

"West Texas is the setting for an unintended experiment in commons resource management. Dispersed, autonomous, local groundwater districts use non-regulatory strategies to promote conservation and groundwater quality. The central force driving this organizational form appears to be ideological. West Texans do not appear ready to accept state management of groundwater pumping. This paper uses key informant interviews to evaluate the strength of ideology in explaining West Texas groundwater policy and provides a theoretical framework for discussing the importance of the 'local solution'."
groundwater, water resources, tragedy of the commons, resource management