Crafting Water Stewardship: Texas Craft Breweries as Water Advocates - A Participatory Action Research Project




Wiley, Delorean S.

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In Texas, future water availability is uncertain. This is due to a variety of factors, which include precipitation variability and weather-driven reductions in streamflow and reservoir storage. As these occur amidst a slowly changing water conservation policy landscape, this dissertation examines craft breweries as sites for catalytic leadership for water stewardship projects, which are analyzed to examine and uncover the oft invisible power dynamics that hinder or lead to water conservation and quality projects in this water-intense industry. The research was conducted as a participatory action research project in conjunction with industry, academic, governmental, and non-profit actors. Findings from this work show that there are a variety of social, environmental, and legislative drivers occurring at a variety of scales that influence whether breweries implement water stewardship activities or not. The research revealed that the best time to plan large operational water conservation is during the brewery-in-planning stage, for breweries that are moving into a new-build space, and when the brewery space is owned and not leased. Through this study donations were raised for water conservation non-profits, six water education events were held, and two breweries launched on-site conservation projects. In these ways, Texas craft breweries catalyzed a process of experiential learning, which benefitted brewery employees, a diverse group of brewery patrons, community members, government workers, local water non-profits, and the researchers.



beer, PAR, action, water, conservation, stewardship


Wiley, D. S. (2023). Crafting water stewardship: Texas craft breweries as water advocates - A participatory action research project (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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