Elements of Effective Water Conservation Legislation in Texas




Boggan, Kaylee

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The purpose of this applied research project is fourfold. First, the curation of the ideal components of water conservation legislation came from a thorough literature review. Next, the framework was used by the researcher to help assess the processes currently used by the Texas legislature. Third, this evaluative exercise helped identify the shortcomings of the current process used by the Texas legislature to address this critical policy issue. Finally, recommendations to improve current lawmaking practices are provided based on the evidence from interviews and document analysis. Legislative action establishes regulatory policy that influences the way water conservation enforcement occurs. The ideal framework created in this study is based on four legislative standards: economic development, social capital/welfare, statutory authority and case law, and agency design. Each standard was assessed using document analysis of Texas Senate Bill 1 (75R), Texas Senate Bill 2(77R), and Texas Senate Bill 3 (79R) and associated documents. Evidence from interviews with water/public policy experts also provided essential information regarding how effective water conservation legislation must be created. The results indicated that an ideal bill must consider effective agency design, statutory authority and case law, social capital and welfare, and economic development. Recommendations include a revamp of the rule of capture, inclusion of provisions relating to climate science, and additional funding to groundwater conservation districts or a One Water Management Approach. Further, Texas should include efficiency regulations and program evaluations including sufficiently long transition periods to allow stakeholders to prepare for change including metrics for improving and quantitative measurements.



water conservation, economic development, agency design, program evaluation, social capital, efficiency regulations


Boggan, K. (2023). Elements of effective water conservation legislation in Texas. Poster presented at the Graduate Student Research Conference, San Marcos, Texas.


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