RURAL AND URBAN WATER USAGE AND POLITICS OF THE OGALLALA AQUIFER IN THE SOUTH PLAINS OF NORTH TEXAS By ROBERT LEE CAVAZOS A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2014
Â© 2014 Robert Lee Cavazos
To my family
4 ACKNO WLEDGMENTS First and foremost, I would like to express my most sincere thanks and gratitude to Dr. Stephen Perz. His endless counsel has made my time in the doctoral program in sociology at the University of Florida a ple asant and rewarding experience. His great understanding in academics, life, and people has greatly prepared me for career as a scholar and for life. I will always appreciate his honesty, wisdom, humor, as well as his patience and generous commitment as a m entor. He has proved to be an incredible editor, without his critiques I would have never completed my dissertation. His professional and personal support will never be forgotten as they have and will continue to influence my profession and life. Stephen Perz has pushed me to become the scholar I always hoped of becoming. Additionally, I would like to thank Mr. Stanley Latimer, who has greatly impacted my life. His knowledge and patience in teaching me Geographic Information Systems has given me the skill s and recourses that are needed in order to master this field, and for that I will always be thankful! Dr. Dawn Jourdan, provided me the guidance and confidence that I needed in order to get through the doctoral program at the University of Florida. I will always cherish the countless breakfast meetings that we had, as they gave me the insight I was looking for. I am also very thankful to Dr. Charles Gattone and Dr. Christine Overdevest for providing me with important comments, concepts, and suggestions. I am deeply grateful for all the wisdom that Dr. Barbara Zsembik has provided me. Her passion and commitment gave me the confidence and drive that I needed in order to get me over the obstacles that I encountered. I will always be grateful to Dr. Charles Pee k for everything he did upon my appending arrival at the University of Florida. I was lucky enough to have your father as a mentor and to have you as a professor. Thank you again, for everything that you did for me!
5 Furthermore, I would like to say thank you to all my colleagues and friends that I have made during my time at the University of Florida. Apologies to all I have failed to mention but I would like to give special thanks to Luis Carabollo, Lisa Christiansen, Lawrence Eppard, Lauren Gilbert, Ging er Jacobson, Flavia Leite, Kevin Lynn, Katie Nutter Pridgen, Greg Pavela, Robert Perdue, Geo Perez, Stephen Pridgen, Josh Sbicca, and Nii Tawiah. I am so grateful for their emotional and intellectual support they have given me. In addition, I would like s ay thank you to Mr. Harvey Everheart of the Mesa Underground Water Conservation District and to Keith Whitworth and members of the High Plains Water District as they provided me the data that I needed that allowed me to complete this dissertation. To my p arents Rudy and LeDae Cavazos thank you for always believing in me and pushing me to persevere. I would of never of made it this far without your continuous love and support; for I am forever indebted to you! To my brother James Patrick Cavazos, thank you for your love and always believing in me; especially during the intricate times. Thank you to the Sharp and Fuentes family for all the moral support that you have given to me during my time at the University of Florida. I would also like to say thank you to my companion Shadow. Thank you for staying up with me during the endless nights and for always being there to listen. Finally, I would like to and lucky to hav e you as my wife. Thank you so much for everything that you do for us! I could of never of made it without you!
6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 8 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 10 LIS T OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 11 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 13 Ogallala Aquifer: Running out of Water ................................ ................................ ................ 15 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 18 Dissertation Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 21 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 25 Property Rights: Open Access and Regulatory Institutions ................................ ................... 26 Treadmill of Production ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 30 Ecological Modernization Theory ................................ ................................ .......................... 32 Social Structure ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 34 Texas Law vs. Other States ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 37 The South Plains in Texas: Farming Prior to the 1960s ................................ ......................... 40 The 1960s to the Present: Irrigation, Farming, and Urban Sprawl ................................ ......... 41 Management of Groundwater ................................ ................................ ................................ . 44 Water Conflicts ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 46 3 DATA AND METHODS ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 51 Research Site ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 51 GIS Data, Spatial Data Processing, and Quantitative Analysis ................................ .............. 54 Active Interviewing and Qualitative Analysis ................................ ................................ ........ 59 Grounded Theory ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 63 Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 65 4 DAWSON WELL COMPARISON ................................ ................................ ....................... 70 Changes in Water Levels in Monitoring Wells, Dawson County, Texas ............................... 71 Determinants of Change in Water Levels in Wells, Daws on County, Texas ......................... 75 Change in Water Levels, 2010 2011: 0.25 Mile Pivot Buffer ................................ ................ 78 Change in Water Levels, 2010 2011: 0.50 Mile Pivot Buffer ................................ ................ 79
7 Change in Water Levels, 2010 2011: 0.75 Mile Pivot Buffer ................................ ................ 79 Change in Water Levels, 2010 2011: 1.0 Mile Pivot Buffer ................................ .................. 81 Change in Water Levels, 2011 2012: 0.25 and 0.5 Mile Pivot Buffers ................................ . 82 Change in Water Levels, 2011 2012: 0.75 Mile Pivot Buffer ................................ ................ 84 Change in Water Levels, 2011 2012: 1.0 Mile Pivot Buffer ................................ .................. 88 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 90 5 A COMPARISON OF URBAN AND RURAL WATER LEVELS IN WELLS IN THE SOUTH PLAINS OF NORTH TEXAS: THE CASE OF LUBBOCK ................................ 102 Lubbock County: Historical Review and Delineation of Rural and Urban Wells ............... 103 Data Sources and Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 104 Changes in Water Levels in Wells in Lubbock County ................................ ....................... 107 Comparative Analysis of Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells in Lubbock County ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 109 Change in Water Levels, 2002 2003: Urban vs. Rural Wells ................................ .............. 109 Change in Water Levels, 2003 2004: Urban vs. Rural Wells ................................ .............. 110 Change in Water Levels, 2004 2005: Urban vs. Rural Wells ................................ .............. 110 Change in Water Levels, 2005 2006: Urban vs. Rural Wells ................................ .............. 111 Change in Water Levels, 2006 2007: Urban vs. Rural Wells ................................ .............. 112 Change in Water Levels, 2007 2008: Urban vs. Rural Wells ................................ .............. 112 Change in Water Levels, 2008 2009: Urban vs. Rural Wells ................................ .............. 113 Change in Water Levels, 2009 2010: Urban vs. Rural Wells ................................ .............. 113 Change in Water Levels, 2010 2011: Urban vs. Rural Wells ................................ .............. 114 Change in Water Levels, 2011 2012: Urban vs. Rural Wells ................................ .............. 114 Change in Water Levels, 2002 2012 : Urban vs. Rural Wells ................................ .............. 115 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 115 6 STAKEHOLDER PERSPECTIVES ................................ ................................ .................... 120 Water Usage ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 122 Water Scarcity ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 125 Water Regulation ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 131 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 136 7 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ .................. 143 Findings and Contributions ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 144 T he Future of the Ogallala Aquifer ................................ ................................ ...................... 146 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 150 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 151 APPENDIX: INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRE ................................ ................................ ........ 155 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 156 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 161
8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Coding Examples. ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 69 4 1 Well Declines (Ft.) for Dawson C ounty 2002 2012. ................................ ......................... 73 4 2 Well Level Changes (Ft.) Dawson County 2002 2012. ................................ ..................... 74 4 3 OLS regression models of the changes in water levels in monitoring levels, with a 0.25 mile buffer for pivots, Dawson County, Texas, 2010 2011. ................................ ..... 92 4 4 OLS regression models of the changes in water levels in monitoring levels, with a 0.5 mile buffer for pivots, Dawson County, Texas, 2010 2011. ................................ ....... 93 4 5 OLS of a regression models of the changes in water levels in monitoring levels, with a 0.75 mile buffer for pivots, Dawson County, Tex as, 2010 2011. ................................ .. 94 4 6 OLS of a regression models of the changes in water levels in monitoring levels, with a 1.0 mile buffer for p ivots, Dawson County, Texas, 2010 2011. ................................ .... 95 4 7 OLS of a regression models of the changes in water levels in monitoring levels, with a 0.25 mile buffer for pivots, Dawson County, Texas, 2011 2012. ................................ .. 96 4 8 OLS of a regression models of the changes in water levels in monitoring levels, with a 0.5 mile buffer for pivots, Dawson County , Texas, 2011 2012. ................................ .... 97 4 9 OLS of a regression models of the changes in water levels in monitoring levels, with a 0.75 mile buffe r for pivots, Dawson County, Texas, 2011 2012. ................................ .. 98 4 10 OLS of a regression models of the changes in water levels in monitoring lev els, with a 1.0 mile buffer for pivots, Dawson County, Texas, 2002 2012. ................................ .... 99 5 1 Well Level Changes (Ft.) Lubbock County 2002 2012. ................................ .................. 107 5 2 Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2002 2003. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ . 110 5 3 Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2003 2004 . ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ . 110 5 4 Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2004 2005. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ . 111 5 5 Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2005 2006. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ . 111
9 5 6 Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2006 2007. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ . 112 5 7 Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2007 2008. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ . 112 5 8 Changes in W ater Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2008 2009. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ . 113 5 9 Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2009 2010. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ . 114 5 10 Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2010 2011. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ . 114 5 11 Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2011 2012. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ . 115 5 12 C hanges in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2002 2012. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ . 115
10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1 1 Taken by Robert Lee Cavazos. Water for Sale. July 20, 2013. Dawson County. ............. 24 3 1 Study Region in the South Plains of North Texas. Maps and files created by Robert Lee Cavazos. Data provided from the MUWCD. ................................ .............................. 52 3 2 Observatio n Areas: Dawson and Lubbock County. Maps and files created by Robert Lee Cavazos provided from MUWCD. ................................ ................................ ............. 53 4 1 Water Well Declines for Dawson County 2002 2012. Maps and files created by Robert Lee Cavazos. Data provided from the MUWCD. ................................ ................ 100 4 2 Water Well Decli nes for Dawson County 2002 2012: Dawson Impact Area. Maps and files created by Robert Lee Cavazos. Data provided from the MUWCD. ................ 101 5 1 Lubbock Urban vs. Rural Wells. Maps and data files created by Robert Lee Cavazos. Data provided by the HPWD. ................................ ................................ .......................... 118 5 2 Water Well Declines for Lubbock County 2002 2012. Maps and data files created by Robert Lee Cavazos. Data provided by the HPWD. ................................ ........................ 119 6 1 Sprinkler Irrigation. October 23, 2013. . ................................ ................................ ........... 141 6 2 Photograph taken by Frank Eyhorn. Drip Irrigation. 2004 .. ................................ ............ 142 7 1 Potential future of the Ogallala. Map provided by Texas Tech University. .................... 153 7 2 Lifeline of the Ogallala. Map Provided by Texas Tech University. ................................ 154
11 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS CRMWA EGS EMT GIS GM HPWD MP MVP Canadian River Municipal Water Authority Education Group Supervisor Ecological Modernization Theory Geographic Information Systems General Manager High Plains Underground Water Conservation District Mesa President Mesa Vice President MUWCD OLS OWRB TOP Mesa Underground Water Conservation District Ordinary Least Squares The Oklahoma Water Resources Board Treadmill of Production TWDB UWCD WC Texas Water Development Board Underground Water Conservation Districts Water Conservationist
12 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy RURAL AND URBAN WATER USAGE AND POLITICS OF THE OGALLALA AQUIFER IN THE SOUTH PLAINS OF NORTH TEXAS By Robert Lee Cavazos August 2014 Chair: Stephen Perz Major: Sociology This dissertation examines water usage and water politics concerning the Ogallala Aquifer in the South Plains of North Texas. Due to the semi arid climate, minimal rainfall, and periodic droughts , the S outh P lains region has become very dependent on the Ogallala Aquifer. Significantly, t he South Plains area of Texas exhibits an open access regime for water usage where user group s are allowed to pump what they want. While this has made possible the rapid expansion of a n agricultural economy as well as a growing urban population, open access to water from the Ogallala is creating a situation of water scarcity, which raises questions about exactly who is using more water, the relative contributions of rural and urban growth to water consumption, and the politics surrounding water scarcity . This dissertation therefore pursues a mixed methods approach, combining the use of geographic in formation systems and statistical modeling for a quantitative analysis of water usage with a qualitative analysis of key informant interviews concerning the politics of water scarcity and regulation. The findings reveal variation in declines in water level s in wells in the South Plains, as well as differences in water scarcity between rural and urban areas, but also considerable cultural and political resistance to water regulation. Only time will tell if the Ogallala Aquifer can be preserved in order to en sure the survival of the S outh P lains of N orth Texas.
13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Regulation of access to and use of natural resources has been a central theoretical problem of long standing in the environmental sciences. While the evils of open access have long been known, there remains debate over the relative merits of state regulation, market mechanisms, bottom up community initiatives, and various multi stakeholder approaches to managing natural resources. Nonetheless, there remains a need to atten d to the social and political dynamics surrounding situations of open access. Water resources are often ma naged as common pool resources, but not always, and this opens analytic opportunities for the study of open access regimes for water usage. In this di ssertation I take up the case of an open access regime for water resource management and focus on questions of water usage, scarcity and politics. Much previous work on water management has highlighted governmental regulation or common pool community manag ement; other previous work on water resources has often separated usage from politics, though the two are clearly joined by scarcity, as in the case of open access regimes. Water scarcity is an ongoing dilemma, parti cularly within the south plains of the United States . The south plains have long been an important agricultural region in the US, but agricultural expansion there has relied heavily on irrigation via the use of pumping out groundwater has led to the development of the treadmill of production . G iven this dependency on groundwater, the Ogallala Aquifer has become crucial for the economic growth of the south plains. But given that water rights in the south plains operate under what amounts to an open access regime it has created a social structure process in which landowners find themselves in complete control of the Ogallala Aquifer. As a result, it is perhaps not surprising that there are signs of water depletion and scarcity in the Ogallala Aquifer. As a result, f armers are finding
14 that some of t heir wells severely reduced water levels; indeed, there is a growing number of wells that are no longer operational. While ecological modernization theory has tried to aid in the water scarcity of the south plains, it has created a situation in which farme rs believe it has hurt their economic base within agricultural. The research examines the case of northern Texas, which makes up part of the southern Great Plains that sits over the Ogallala Aquifer. Northern Texas is of particular interest because it not only has a significant agricultural economy that has changed over time in ways that have increased water demand, it also has a rapidly growing urban population, another source of expanding water consumption. Northern Texas also exhibits a regulatory frame work for water withdrawals from the Ogallala that amounts to an open access regime where users are allowed to pump what they want. T his configuration of circumstances has made possible the rapid expansion of both a rural agricultural economy as well as a g rowing urban population, but open access to water is creating a situation of dire water scarcity . This situation raises questions about exactly who is using more water, the relative contributions of rural and urban growth to water consumption, and the poli tics surrounding water scarcity. According to Little (2009), farmers at one point had a liquid treasure below their feet; Faustian bargain giving up long term co nservation for short conserving the longevity of the aquifer , landowners have chosen to capitalize on an economic opportunity. However, this has resulted in overuse , leaving farmers depleting their most natural resource. The aquifer has continued to decline year after year, as farmers have become more dependent on the Ogallala (Pearce, 2006) . T he district manager from the High Plains Unde rground Water Conservation District (HPW D) stated that the Texas panhandle has
15 experienced their largest decline in 45 years. As a result the district limited how much farmers could pump, however the limits were completely voluntary (Peters, 2012). This i ntroductory chapter lays the foundation for the rest of the dissertation by spelling out the challenges involved in an open access re g ulato r y re g im e f or re sou r c e use . I begin by introducing the ca se o f the O g a ll a la A q uif e r . I highlight how use of the Ogallala in northern Texas amounts to an open access regime. In the process, I highlight some of the key user groups and mechanisms that have been offered as explanations for increasing water scarcity in northern Texas, underscor ing intensive agriculture, urban population growth, and political resistance to imposing regulatory restrictions on water use. Ogallala Aquifer: Running out of Water Many of the biggest aquifers sit beneath deserts or other arid regions. The Ogall ala Aquifer is no exception , as it is located under the High Plains of North America, which receive limited annual rainfall (Pearce, 2006) . The Ogallala fresh water aquifers and covers an area of 174,000 square miles, which stretches from South Dakota to Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas (Glennon 2009 ; Miller, Vandome, & McBrewster, 2 009) . (Opie J. , 2000, p. 49) . Many parts of the plains do not receive s ustainable amounts of rainfall due to its semi arid climate ; agricultural development in the region has therefore become dependent upon the Ogallala Aquifer (Miller, Vandome, & McBrewster, 2009) . This has led to development of a culture that
16 water will eventual (Postel, 1992) . Similarly, cities in the plains have also relied on the aquifer as their main water supply. With many lakes and streams becoming unfit as a source of dri nking water, more cities and towns have turned to the aquifer as their main supply of drinking water. Big cities in the Southern P lains area, such as Lubbock and Amarillo , are prime examples. Both cities can no longer expand their local well fields; as a r esult , their city governments brought vast amounts of land outside their city limits. The goal was not to expand the se cit ies per se , but rather to sink wells elsewhere in order to tap into underground water suppl ies (Templer & Urba n, 1996) . Given demand for water by agriculture and urban populations, t he Texas Tribune estimates that the Ogallala is projected to decline 52% between the years 2010 and 2060 (Galbraith, 2010) . Acco rding to Robert Mace , the deputy executive administrator of the Texas Water Development Board , (Galbraith, 2010) . It took thousands of centuries f or the Ogallala aquifer to accumulate its water, but is has only taken few d ecades to deplete it (Glennon , 2009 ) . The aquifer is not going to be able to provide sufficient water for agriculture and urban demand. A s a result , the management of the Ogallala Aquifer will become critical. In the Ogallala and elsewhere, water supplies are being drawn down, making water an increasingly scarce resource (Pearce, 2006). Water scarcity forever changes habitats and landscapes ; consequen tly, it also affects the viability of human land occupation . According to much more terrible when the drought is manmade -when the wetland dies because humans have decided to divert the riv ers that should replenish it, when the water is taken for little purpose, as a statement of the power As a result, water shortages will result in severe social
17 impacts. There is only a fixed amount of water available in the form of lakes, rivers, aquifers, etc. as a result the majority of all water is unintentionally barred for future reuse (Glenno n, Water is not made available for reuse, until it evaporates off the ocean, moves by wind c urrents over land, precipitates out, infiltrates the ground, and percolates into the aquifer, where it can be pumped from a well. The looming crisis is sharply etched: 81). While historically we have been able to en gineer our way out of the problem of water scarcity , thi s is no longer the case today ( Glennon, 2009). Groundwater was once considered to be a renewable resource, but this is no longer true (Glennon, 2009). Demand has grown on all groundwater sources, and there are too many consumers. We are now in a time of transition from a period in which our society had an abundant water supply to a period where water has become a scarce resource (Solomon, 2011) . Climate change is likely to industrial activities have created massive water demand and produced contaminants that nature has no way of recycling or absorbing and that end up in our soil, air, and water. The global climate is changi ng because of industrialization, which among other things is leading to (Weber, 2012, p. 87) . With sustained droughts taking place in many parts of the United States, many The South Plains is no exception (Opie, et al., 2000), as the water supply Ogallala Aqui fer is already down by one quarter (Pearce, 2006) .
18 Research Questions In this dissertation, m y overarching research goal is to better understand the water usage in the South Plains area of Texas, given the open access regime and emergent water scarcity due to societal gro wth. Within this general research focus, I pursue analysis of three more specific research questions, on the issues of 1) factors that explain variation in changes in water levels of rural (agricultural) wells , 2) a comparison of changes in water levels of rural and urban wells , and 3) the understandings of different stakeholders of water scarcity , water politics and water regulation . The first part of this dissertation takes up the q uestion of open access by focusing on rural water users and water levels in their wells . Whereas Hardin (1968) articulates situations of open access among more or less homogeneous user groups, the case of the South Plains of North Texas includes a heteroge neous array of rural landowners , notably ranchers and farmers . This raises questions concerning actual water availability among distinct users, even under an open access regime. The first research question therefore takes up the issue of agricultural wate r usage in the South Plains of Texas. I focus on the characteristics of rural water users as they relate to water factors related to agricultural land use are associated with larger declines in water leve ls in rural wells importance because agricultural producers are major water users. Further, water levels are higher in some areas of the South Plains than others. To pursue this question, I compil ed of GIS data for a spati al analysis of changes in the saturate d thickness of water levels based on rural well data . This analysis can provide insights into variation in rural water usage under conditions of open access . By linking the characteristics of wells, farmers and locatio ns via spatial data , we can systematically evaluate in quantitative terms the factors that account for variation in changes in
19 water levels of rural wells . A multivariate analysis permits a detailed explanation for why water levels are lower in some parts of the Ogallala aquifer in the South Plains than others. R egional growth in water usage involves both rural and urban growth , with expansion proceeding due to different processes driven by distinct stakeholder groups . According to Rudel (2009), suburban sp rawl as well as agriculture expansion have transformed landscapes. One key implication of expanded land use is increased water usage. The availability of irrigation has allowed agricultural producers to transform the land and export the aquifer in order to achieve short term sustainability. Reisner (1986) has shown that the business of water development became a game between multiple stakeholder groups trying to outduel one another in order to access and control water resources. In rural areas, the expansio n of mechanized agriculture may present a greater threat to the Ogallala aquifer than more traditional ranching. But in towns, also result in large increments in water usage due to the expansion of urban areas beyond pre esta blished urban cores. The second research question therefore takes up the issue of rural and urban water demand in the South Plains of Texas. U rban as well as rural growth has stimulated increased water usage in the South Plains area. This raises a questio n about their relative impo rtance for water usage overall: Are declines in water levels in wells greater in rural or urban areas of the South Plains of North Texas part of the analysis therefore quantitatively examines changes in water levels among rural and urban wells to see which accounts for more growth in water usage. Here it is important to distinguish among explanations for both rural and urban growth in water usage. Whereas one can imagine many arguments in support of continued open access pumping based on the interests of particular stakeholders, the emergence of water scarcity in the South
20 Plains may (or may not) be modifying how stakeholders articulate the need for water vis Ã vis needs to regulate usage. The focus on distinct groups of s takeholders in the South Plains raises issues of water politics and conflicts over water usage due to water scarcity. Water usage by various interest groups has led to water scarcity, and water scarcity has in turn raised issues of regulation of water usag e. Given that water regulation in the South Plains of Texas constitutes an open access regime, the issues of usage and scarcity become a political question. The politics of water scarcity generates discourses on who is responsible for water scarcity and wh at should be done (if anything) to regulate water usage. My third and final research question is therefore: discourses of different stakeholder groups regarding water us ag e , scarcity and regulation under a regime open access in the South Plains of North Texas This question motivates a qualitative analysis of stakeholder discourses for a case of open access with resource scarcity in progress. The focus of the qualitative approach will be to document discursive tactics emplo yed by different stakeholders with regard to their explanations for water scarcity and views on the regulation of water usage. In particular, I seek to identify who (if anyone) is adjusting their discourses out of recognition of the serious consequences of unsustainable water use, and to compare groups who often have competing interests to see if e.g. they continue to blame each other or seek greater cooperation for collective benefit. Here I seek to evaluate the perspectives and discourses of different sta keholder groups such as the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HP WD ), the Mesa Underground Water Conservation District ( MUWCD ) , local farmers , and local conservationists. A qualitative comparison of stakeholder discourses will reveal the understandings and perspectives of different groups as to who is responsible for water usage and what they think should be done about water scarcity.
21 Dissertation Overview This dissertation is composed of se ven chapters, the first chapter being the genera l introduction to the effects an open access regime has on the Ogallala Aquifer. Chapter 2 reviews the literature review linking similar cases that have been found to have issues of water scarcity and the effects an open access regime has within the South Plains . T h e c ru c ial f ac t is th at l e g isl a t ion c r ea ted a n o p e n ac c e ss r e g ime, whi c h a l l ow e d for r a n c hi n g , a g r icultur e , a nd u r b a n e x p a nsion to flourish; how e v e r it is also l e a d ing to unsustainable use of the O g a ll a l a Aqui fe r. The review will include other cases of open access regimes and examine the irrational decisions by stakeholders and farmers. O pen access (Hardin 1968) has allowed for rural users to deplete a once abundant supply of fresh water, thus transforming the land into a desert, leaving r ural users fighting over a scar c e resource (Reisner, 1986). The lack of governance with an open access regime has created an epidemic of water scarcity within the South Plains. However, there is also a significant political dimension to open access, in tha t the benefits are not equally spread. N ot everyone uses water equally, given social differentiation among landowners; some benefit more than others. Furthermore, the review will examine how suburban sprawl has transformed landscapes. Resources that were once abundant are now scarce. The availability of irrigation has allowed people to transform the land and export the aquifer in order to achieve short term sustainability. As a result, bureaucracies try to out duel one another in order to access a limited resource, cities competing with cities over water and cities competing with farmers. With each group altering the land through an open access regime. The literature is reviewed and discussed in relation to the present research. Chapter 3 discusses the dat a and methods being used to answer the primary research questions. I pursue a mixed methods approach, drawing on both GIS and spatial analysis of
22 quantitative data as well as active interviewing and grounded theorizing that relies on qualitative data. For the quantitative analysis, I drew on d ata from the Mesa Underground Water Conservation District and from the High Plains Underground Water District. These sources provide information on water levels in wells used by farmers in distinct locations across the southern plains in northern Texas over the Ogallala Aquifer. I combined data on well water levels with additional information on farm characteristics, notably land use among crops with different water demands, as well as spatial information about location and distance from other farms, key roads and urban centers. For the qualitative analysis, I draw on transcripts from in depth interviews with various stakeholders involved in water politics in the south plains of northern Texas. I pursued an active interv iewing approach as a means of better engaging interviewees and drawing them out with regard to their understandings of the causes of water scarcity and their views on how it might be addressed. I use grounded theory coding techniques in order to identify k ey aspects of how stakeholders understand water scarcity, especially in light of the multiplicity of stakeholders present in northern Texas who make heavy use of water. Chapter 4 examines the effects open access has on rural water users and the impacts th ey have on water level changes. A descriptive analysis was used to examine water well level declines throughout Dawson County. By examining water well level declines , we can determine if water scarcity is occurring consistently throughout Dawson County . In addition GIS and a multivariate model was used to determine if well location, pivots used for irrigation, and spatial autoregressive covariates to detect changes in well levels. The analysis provides understandings to see which characteristics account fo r the variation in changes in water level declines . Chapter 5 determines who contributes for greater decline in water well levels among rural and urban users in an open access regime. An ANOVA F test was used to examine who accounts
23 for more growth in wat er usage. By focusing on distinct stakeholder groups, issues of water politics and conflicts over water usage, generates discourses on who is responsible for water scarcity. Chapter 6 studies the perspectives and discourses of different stakeholder groups regarding water usage, water scarcity, and water regulation under a regime of open access. To understand these effects a grounded theory approach was used; in order address these key themes of usage, scarcity and regulation. I then used a theoretical ded uction surrounding these key themes to have an understanding on how different groups view who is responsible for water usage and what should be done in order to ensure the survival of the Ogallala Aquifer. Chapter 7 concludes the dissertation. I first summarize the key results from each of the analytical chapters . The complementarity among the methods employed permits articulation of a broader synthesis of the findings from different chapters. I therefore also outline a synthesis of the main contributio n s of the research findings reported. I conclude the final chapter by offer ing a discussion of recommendations with regard to water scarcity and water management, along with suggestions for future research .
24 Figure 1 1. Taken by Robert Lee Cavazos. Water for Sale. July 20 , 2013. Dawson County.
25 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW of a common pool resource. Chapter 2 aims to discuss the issues an open access regime ha s on limited resource s , following the original account offered by Hardin (1968). In brief, resource users act individually in order achieve self interest and economic gain, which in return leaves a resource severely depleted. Texas has similar laws to , and is providing a textbook case of the predicted a result . L andowner s and other users have virtually complete autonomy in making decisions to extract water, and water levels are declining . This allows for property owners to dictate how ground water gets used and managed. Even when courts are called to intervene , there are powerful political interests behind ensuring the persistence of open access due to the economic benefits, which entrains conflict . While technolo gical advances of ten associated with ecological modernization theory (EMT) have allowed for irrigation to transform the south plains, it also allow ed pumps to tap more water from the Ogallala Aquifer (Pearce, 2006) . Due to open access , improved technologies have in fact permitted growth that better resembles the warnings about capitalism in literature on the treadmill of production (TOP) , including resource scarcity as in the case of groundwater from the Ogallala Aquifer (Galbra ith, 2010; Glennon, 2009; Opie J. , 2000; Postel, 1992; Reisner, 1986; Shiva, 2002; and Weber, 2012) . Crucial to this account is the issue of open access to water. Irrigation has allowed farmers to irrigate their crops in a manner in which they chose. R anchers were able to provide an unlimited supply of water to build up their livestock herds . Further, c ities where also able to expand. All of these users were able to tap into the Ogallala, with no intervention coming from
26 local or state authorities . The increase in irrigation production allowed for the south plains of northern Texas to flourish in a non favorable environment. However , due to overconsumption of water, the Ogallala Aquifer is in a situation of endangerment. With so many users taping in to the Ogallala, the aquifer has become mismanaged, which in return has created conflicts among users. As users continue to use water unsustainably from the Ogallala Aquifer, conflicts among stakeholders have escalated. Conflicts over water have an importa nt discursive dimension, as competing groups seek to define issues that support their economic interest s (Harper, 2008) . Regardless of who has the biggest pump, the Ogallala must be protected in order to ensure life on the sout h plains. If not, water conflicts among users will only intensify, and only those with a big enough well will able to surviv e, leaving the rest of the south plains fighting over a dwindling resource. Property Rights: Open Access and Regulatory Institution s To have an open access regime creates a world of indifferences. Different social actors seek to use the same resource without regard for each other, and the unavoidable result is not only resource overuse but also conflicts among users. Perhaps the touc hstone publication on this issue was Hardin (1968), which outlined the assumptions that multiple resource users act rationally, based on their self interest, and independen tly of other users. Under those assumptions, users exploit a natural resource, whether pasture for grazing, a fishery, or a water source. As rational decision makers, each user seeks to maximize their individual utility, which means rising exploitation of the resource over time. As independent decision makers, each user acts in their own self interest and thus fails to account for the exploitation of the resource by other users. Even with acknowledgment of their consequences they are unable to stop. Those who are senseless enough to wait for their proper
27 turn will only find the resource to be taken by another individual w hat one does not take today will be taken tomorrow by a competitor. If there is no limit on access to the resource, and if there is no reg ulation on use of the resource, Hardin (1968) theorized that resource use will rise. Further, he argued that eventually use exceeds the carrying capacity of the resource itself, which becomes depleted. Pastures degrade, fisheries collapse, and water source s become depleted. While utility may rise for a time argued that the lack of a property rights regime to regulate access to and use of the resource was the problem . While he spoke of the Hardin (1968) actually described an open access regime. S rights . However, others noted the confusion in Hardin between the commons and o pen access , and those authors assert ed that local user groups often form around a common pool resource and define shared institutions that regulate access and use ( Berkes 1989; McCay and Acheson 1987; Ostrom, 1990). Common pool institutions are distinct from open access by imposing regulations but are also distinct from private rights by being collectivel y designed and enforced (Ostrom, 1990). Further, user defined regulatory institutions differ from state regulation b y being lo cally defined (Ostrom, 1990). Ostrom (1999) believed that pool resource would have authority to make at least some of the rules related to the use of that particular resource. Thus, they would achieve many of the advantages of utiliz ing local knowledge as well as the redundancy and and regulation process, there would be little reason for them to take additional resources ,
28 because they were given the opportunity to structure the rules that would allow them to prosper. Roberts and Emel (1992) use the political econom y of uneven development theory to explain the ongoing dynamics of the commons. They argue that access to groundwater is never ent irely open to everyone, but limited to those with access to land. Roberts and Emel (1992) contend that as farms get bigger or the subsurface flow of under groundwater becomes slower, the effect one pumper/farmer can have on another diminishes. With a lesse ning externality, the likelihood for tragedy diminishes. The Roberts and Emel (1992) account nonetheless raises problems of resource management in a common pool. However , the problem of the commons is not a result of open access per Hardin (1968) , but rat her the consequence of uneven development resulting from capitalism. The ability for one farmer to have technological advantages over another is why a resource get s of a techno logy while they last or more prosaically to appropriate relative surplus value, has The key to understanding the usage of water and other natural resources requires a focus on the social institutions intended to regulate access to and use of resources. M ost work on institutions and resource use has focused on private, state, and commons regimes (Reisner 1986; McCay and Acheson 1987 ; Berkes 1989; Ostrom, 1990, Robert and Emel, 1992). T here remain s a need for further study of open access regimes, especially given the application of open access to key natural resources such as water. Big questions thus arise as to what actually goes on in different open access regimes an d how social groups respond to the resulting problems. Ostrom (1990) discusses the problems of open access and groundwater using the case of the West Basin of California. Individuals who own land above the underground water were
29 allowed access to the water in a manner they choose. Hence there is open access to water among land users. However, during severe droughts , court s may intervene and place restrictions on landowners. Under those circumstances, landowners a re only allowed to take what they needed for While this modifies the open access situation somewhat, it does not avoid the problems of open access. This is because there remains t he problem of what to consider beneficial which became a point of contention b etween landowners and the courts. As a result, attorneys advised landowners to pump as much as they could from the underground aquifers and worry about the consequences later. Not until the courts passed law s to limit groundwater pumping did the state start seein g an increase in water levels. Marc Reisner also addresses these problems in the southwestern US in his book (Reisner 1986) . Reisner gives several accounts of confrontation s among farmers, urban populations, and various levels of governme nt all fighting over water in an open access regim e. According to Reisner (1986) sign of conflict. However, under an open access regime, this is a matter of course. California and Arizona thus engage d in an ongoing water war that would last for decades. With huge urban expansion taking place in California, the state had to find additional water sources , so it began tapping in to h California having a large population, it h ad the money to build an aqueduct more than 200 miles long. By contrast , Arizona was not as fortunate. Most of the land is underdeveloped and used for agricultur al purposes, and as a result there was not enough money to build aqueduct s . The war among the s tates would be resolved in the Supreme Court case Arizona v. California; it would become one of the long est running lawsuits in the archives of the court (Reisner, 1986). In the end, the court ruled in favor of Arizona, stating it had entitlement over the Colorado River.
30 However, before the court rulings were passed , Arizona tried to address its water needs by pumping water from underground aquifers. Arizona like other western states was pumping as much water as they could without worrying about tomorrow. In t heoretical terms, this created an open access war. Cities such as Phoenix began to recede as the underneath water was being pumped out , causing the collaps es of aquifers (Reisner, 1986). The open access regime among farmers literally permitted pump ing the aquifers dry. Not until the court ruling of Arizona v California did the state have a sufficient regulation on its supply of water. Even with officials overseeing the Colorado River , Arizona found itself in a situation with its own citizens fighting over water rights. Treadmill of Production The concept behind the TOP is to do whatever possible in order to achieve profit. that promotes economic expansion that results in undesirable environmental The results are an externalization process where the costs of production are paid by the environment and society, but only a select gr oup of elites benefit (Schnailberg, 1980) . Capitali sm encourages us to maintain production ; as a result , we benefit from that system, which is why we tend to favor it. P roduction is needed in order to survive in a competitive market. In principle, the levels of demand for natural resources for a given level of social welfare. Ea ch round of investment weakened the employment situation for production workers and worsened (Gould, Pellow, & Schnaiberg, 2004, p. 297) . Owners and investors reap the p rofits of the industry. According to Buttel (2004) there are
31 powerful forces leading to capital intensive economic expansion, which in turn comes into Supplies and wages are cu t in order to keep profits up. If those measures do not work, then steps are take n to reduce environmental laws (Bell, 2012) . Time passes and production begins to slow down so other measures are considered . Industries eventually try to cheat and lie in ord er to increase profits . TOP reveals the social inequality that is taking place within these industries. Poor communities face exposure to lethal chemicals. Due to institutional racism these facilities are located in underprivileged minority communities (Hooks & Smith, 2004) . A nother key element of the treadmill of production is the use of labor saving machines and technologies to replace workers and to increase the amount of resources (Bell, 2012) . This process has led to more production and has made society dependent on economic growth in order to solve problems (Schnailberg, 1980) . The more we continue to expand the more harm we cause to those who are unable to prot ect themselves against the treadmill of production. The treadmill of production portrays an image of society stuck in motion without the inability to stop in the social efficiency of the productive system. This decreased social efficiency of natural resource operation s produced a shift towards vastly increased rates of ecosystem depletion (resource extraction) and ecosystem pollution (dumping wastes into ecosystems) (Gould, Pellow, & Schnaibe rg, 2004, p. 297) . To engage in the treadmill of production is to participate in the withdrawal of a scare resource, which is why resource s become abused and mismanaged in an open access regime. The irony is that the advances of irrigation and pivots which were created in order to preserve the longevity of the Ogallala Aquifer ( Pearce, 2006). On the contrary, irrigation has led to the scarcity of water from the Ogallala Aquifer .
32 Ecological Modernization Theory The EMT suggests that capitalism creates the conditions for environmental improvement (Bell, 2012) . Growth and modernity have produced environmental problems, thus in order to reduce these problems , environmentally friendly must be developed and put in place (Harper, 2008) . With new industries and technologies emerging , environmental benefits must occur in order for industries to continue to profit and flourish. But for technologies to benefit the environment and thus sustain firms, state action to direct the development of ecologically modern technologies is necessary. ultimately be a theory of politics and the state that is, a theory of the changes in the state and political pr actices which tend to give rise to private eco efficiencies and overall environmental Bell (2012) argues that the overall impact of processes indicated by EMT ha s been positive . He claims that society has seen a shift; there has been a movement to o green and to promote sustainability . Some of the examples include improvements in the efficiency of appliances such as refrigerat s , and air conditioners. These appliances use far less energy compared to ten years ago . F urthermore , people are trying to find new ways live and to reduce consumption. More people are recycling, riding bikes, using public transportation, and incorporating more energy efficient housing designs. This corresponds to EMT, which argues that t he more people m ake this shift towards environmentalism, the better off the economy is , since the shift permits new economic activity . Bell (2010) goes on to argue that there has been a shift in globalization, countries are more aware of the environmental problems that e xist. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of global treaties signed, promoting environmental protection . The United States has developed laws which require companies to be more energy efficient. Industries that are seen as
33 being unfriend ly towards the environment can be fined and in severe cases shut down. EMT address in the transformative sectors of metropolitan regions of the advanced industr (Buttel, 2000, p. 60) . The processes highlighted by EMT advanced recycling, allowed waste materials from one industrial process to be used at another in order to reduce waste , and radically increased resource productivity, which slows down the depletion of natural resources, lowers pollution, and toxicity (Harper, 2008) environmental movements by avoiding their romanticization, a nd by appreciating the particularly fundamental roles that science, technology, capital, and state might play in the process of (Buttel, 2000, p. 60) . EMT provides hope that the economy can benef it from m oving towards more effective environmental management . While these changes have benefited the environment , TOP continues to question whether capitalism can promote environmental protection . Pellow, Schnaiberg, and Weinberg (2000), discuss how recycling goes against the whole process of EMT. EMT states that economy benefits when society moves towards a more environmentalism approach. However, Pellow, Schnaiberg, and Weinberg (2000), argue a gainst this. They claim that the process of recycling brings more harm than good, therefore going against EMT. They contend that EMT has brought workers into contact with environmental hazards. People who work in these recycling centers have to work in har sh and unsanitary conditions. Recycling does increase jobs and does reduce the number of landfills, but there are also negative effects. In addition, critics argue that EMT does not apply to the United States. Compared to Europe, the U.S. has seen little progress on environmental policy. S ince the early 1970s when the US passed the Clean Air Act of 1970, Wilderness Act of 1964, Endangered Species Act of 1973, and the Clean Water Act of 1977, the
34 US has see n little change in environmental policy . Furthermor e, EMT says nothing about environmental injustice; main focus is sustainability (Bell, 2012) . TOP thus argu es that the processes highlighted by EMT cannot promote environmental protection. T hus , the more society tries to shift production towards environmental ly friendly methods , the increase d efficiencies in making that shift fails to reduce resource consumption and nonetheless eventually leads to resource scarcity. As a result users will seek to socially construct ideolo gies, which they believe favor their interest s . Social Structure A third perspective on resource use from sociology comes from work highlighting social structures in general. Social s tructure refers to the social relationships and social institutions tha t constitute society through accepted norms and shared values (Ritzer, 2011) . Social structure is often treated together with the concept of social change, which deals wit h the forces that change the social structure and the organization of society. Thus , social structure assigns roles and powers to individual s , which create social outcomes . According to Ritzer (2011), social structure refers to the enduring and patterned re lationships between the elements of a society. There are refer to a set of social entities the elements or constitutive units that are order, organized, o r hierarchized in some way and that maintain patterned, nonrandom relations among themselves (Bernardi, Gonzalez, & Requena, 2006, p. 8) . As a result the norms, beliefs, and valu S ocial structure s are comprise d of rules, institutions, and practices that are socially embodied in the actions, views , principles , and dispositions of individual s . According to Bourdieu these patte rns of repeated behaviors are know n as the habitus. The habitus refers to the lifestyles, values, and expectations of particular social groups that are acquired through life
35 social space which is determined by the volume and types of capital possessed the habitus is structured by the existing social distribution of economic and cultural capital, the aspirations and expectations it engenders will conform to what is objectivel (Appelrouth & Edles, 2012, p. 656) . The habitus is then struct ured on how one interprets the world : it creates and categorizes practices and representations , and it structures an experience of and orientation to the social world. As Bourdieu notes , tends to ensure its own constancy and defiance against change through the selection it makes within new information by rejecting information capable of calling into question its accumulated Through the systematic choices it makes among the places, events and people th at might be frequented, the habitus tends to protect itself from crisis and cr itical challenges by providing itself with a milieu to which it is as pre adapted as possible, that is, a relatively constant universe of situations tending to reinforce its dispositions (Appelrouth & Edles, 2012, p. 656) . Thus , social structures are frameworks within which people act. Within these structures, people label on e another, that is, recognize one another as inhabitants of positions. In doing so , people evoke reciprocal expectations of what each is expected to do. Social structure is the way people are connected and interdependent. For Bourdieu , this circular process is the legitimation and reproduction of a stratified social order that advantages some groups while disadvanta fulfilling prophecy, the habitus perpetuates structural inequality across generations by adapting individuals expectations
36 (Appelrouth & Edles, 2012, pp. 656 657) . Social structure are the norms in which individuals come together in order to a structure, a unity in which they are united by. Ideas about social structure and habitus are relevant to conc erns about regulatory institutions and the question of the sustainability of resource use. The establishment of regulatory institutions set in place a particular social structure that in turn entrains patterns of behavior and thus patterns of resource use. By contrast, the lack of a regulatory institution such as under conditions of open access also puts in place a social structure that in turn leads to patterns of behavior associated with unsustainable resource use. The key insight of a focus on social st ructure with regard to resource use is that habitus highlights the durability of social structures and often their resistance to change. In the case of regulatory regimes, their durability can be advantageous in the case of resource use if said regimes per mit sustainable use. But in the case of open access, the habitus is problematic as users accustomed to freely exploiting resources may resist proposals to impose regulations. open access will seek to maintain open access, leading to the tragedy of which Hardin spoke rather than a shift to a sustainable use regime. The question then concerns the circumstances under which social structures for resource use can be changed, and h ow users interpret such changes. A key implication of social structure account is that open access will lead to resource scarcity, associated with conflict s over resources, in any event. This makes it imperative to identify ways to shift from open access despite the likely resistance and conflicts for the sake of sustainable use.
37 Texas Law vs. Other States The case of Texas water law provides an example th at draws insights from Hardin, TOP, EMT and social structure. In particular, Texas water laws constitute an example of open access. Texas water laws malice or willful waste , landowners have the right to take all the water they can capture under their land and do with it what they please, and they will not be liable to neighboring landowners g. 1). This rule of capture has been in adoption for more than 100 years. The rule of capture contrasts with , i s limited to reasonable use and that the rights of nei ghboring landowners are mutual. According to Potter (2011), the Texas Supreme Court implemented the rule of capture in the case of Houston & Texas Central Railroad Co. v. East 1904. This ruling lead to the implementation of Article 16 , t he Conservation Ame ndment , which made natural resources such as water a public right and duty. I n 1950, the State of Texas again considered whether to regulate groundwater usage. Local famers organized and petitioned to the state not to intervene. As a result, the Texas legi slature voted not to manage water rights of the Ogallala Aquifer (Cunfer, 2005). As a result, various user groups opted for local control of the aquifer as a shared natural resource. Consequently , the High Plans Underground W ater Conservation District (HP W D ) and the Mesa Underground Water Conservation District (MUWCD) were created. The goal of both districts was to develop some type of regulatory measures for water conservation; however , the power to pump thousands of gallons of water remained with each lan downer. As a result, the HPWD and MUWCD do not function to conserve the water, but rather to keep outsiders at bay and to uphold the interests of local landowners.
38 Under the regulatory regime established for the Ogallala aquifer by the HPWD and the MUWCD, l andowners have the ability to use the water in the manner they choose. Under Texas law, landowners can extract groundwater for their own use or for sale to other landowners , subject only to the limitation that they are liable if pumping causes land subsid ence (Templer, 1992). Texas is the only state in the US that allows landowners to pump as much groundwater as they want. Furthermore, landowners are not obliga ted to report their wells; only through a voluntary process a need they do so. According to the T exas Water Development Board (TWDB), which oversees water conservation for the entire state of Texas, the data they obtain 1 With little or no regul ation taking place to control the water consumption from the Ogallala Aquifer, it has been a free for all. Most consumers of the South Plains treat a first come , first served basis, with no cost for the water its elf (Guru et, al. 2000 and Potter 2011). Landowners may even store water in huge tanks without having to obtain a permit from the state (Templer, 1992). Currently, Texas is the sole western state that continues to use the rule of capture to govern water. I n sum, Texas has implemented an open access regime for groundwater usage. To better illustrate the nearly unique institutional regime for groundwater usage in Texas, it is useful to mention the neighboring state of Oklahoma, which also sits atop a portion of the Ogallala Aquifer. Unlike Texas, Oklahoma has policies in place to man a ge th e use of groundwater water of land owns the groundwater underlying such land . However, the use of groundwater is regulated by Oklahoma Groundwater law. Ownership of groundwater is determined through 1 (Texas Water Development Board: http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/ ).
3 9 the number of acres that landowner owns . The groundwater water is regulated by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board ( OWRB ) . A permit is required for non domestic, but not domestic use. Users must obtain a permit from the state of Oklahoma. Additionally applicants must contact landowners within one quar ter mile of proposed well site . Furthermore, applicants must publish their notices in a county newspaper, so that the community is aware of who is trying to obtain the well and what the well will be used for once it has been obtained by the owner . 2 Oklahoma does not give preference to beneficial users, which include agriculture, irrigation, w ater supply, industrial, recreation, and propagation of fish and wildlife ( Walker and Bradford, 2009 ). So in times of severe droughts beneficial users may be affected in terms of how they are able to use the water. With the state monitoring groundwater wat er use, they are able to keep water scarcity in control, by limiting the access landowners have on the aquifer. The waste of groundwater water is prohibited in Oklahoma. T groundwater without a per mit, using more groundwater than is a uthorized by a permit , using groundwater to manage such that it is lost for beneficial use, transporting or using groundwater (Walker & Bradford, 2009 , p. 1748) . According to the OWRB, c itizens who feel as if the groundwater basins are not being put to beneficial use may protest and set a hearing with the OWRB and potential parties who might be misusing the aquifer. Thus, all parties are able to ex amine the use of the permit and to make sure that the permit holders do not come into violation of water laws. All permit holders are required to file annual reports with the OWRB in order to determine if each permit holder has remained in compliance with the ir allocated amount of water allocated. Failure to complete the form may result in the cancellation of the groundwater permit 2 (The Oklahoma Water Resources Board: http://www.owrb.ok.gov/supply/watu se/gwwateruse.php ).
40 (Walker & Bradford, 2009) . While the polic i es are in place, it does not guarantee that groundw ate r water is not be depleted. H owever what it does entail is that there is a smaller chance of water wells being mismanaged, which can reduce the effects of unsustainable use levels from occurring . The South Plains in Texas: Farmin g Prior to the 1960 s From the time of colonial settlement to the 1950s, irrigation was not an alternative in the South Plains in Texas . Opie (2000) believed the plains were too isolated and unreachable, lacking the major rivers that had opened up so many other American landscapes. Many farmers had to rely on rain for their crops and cattle. Farmers had to adjust to the land and the difficult climatic conditions . They had to grow crops that were native or that wo uld be able to survive during drought seasons. (Popper & Popper, 1987, p. 1). The South Plains region has periodically been hit hard with severe droughts . In many instances, the federal government considered some of the farmland as uninhabitable and encouraged farmers to relocate to other areas. Perhaps the worst case of drought oc curred during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. With low levels of rainfall, the topsoil began losing nutrients, and eventually the soil turned to dust. There was nothing keeping the soil in place, so the land turned into deserts. With the topsoil gone and calic he exposed, seasonal winds picked up the dust and carried it hundreds of miles away. Large thick clouds of dust darken ed the skies, making it unbearable to go outside, much less farm. The Dust Bowl left the South Plains area in chaos, as cultivation of cor n, cotton, and wheat left many acres of topsoil depleted. Some Texas officials believed that the South Plains region would become depopulated (Popper & Popper, 1987). The Agriculture Department's Soil
41 Conservation Service replanted the area and developed g rasslands. It was an attempt to save the dam, Pick Sloan plan for the Missouri River, an effort aimed primarily at the Plains portion of the watershed. It meant that Plains farmers and ranchers could, like th eir competitors farther west, get federal water at below (Popper & Popper, 1987, p. 3). The government tried to keep farmers on the South Plains, but without the aid of irrigation, the land would of never have been transformed. However, irri gation would lead farming to new difficulties. The 1960s to the Present : Irrigation, Farming, and Urban Sprawl Given the risk of periodic droughts, the difficulties of relying on rained agriculture prompted investments in technologies to improve the relia bility of agricultural production. This led to the expansion of irrigation using groundwater. In particular, the Ogallala Aquifer allowed farmers to ignore the rainfall yields during drought seasons. The advances of irrigation allowed ranchers and farmers to attend to their water needs and to drill further and deeper for water than on one ever thought was possible (Pearce, 2006) . Irrigation went from being a luxury where farmers used it sparingly, to where it became the norm in farming. Before the 1960s, the Ogallala Aquifer only irrigated a couple of million acres of farmland. During the 1960s, irrigation changed how farming was done in the South Plains; irrigation was incorporated into the farming routine as the most essential activity to guarantee big yields. out from hundreds of wells at the rate of one thousand cubic feet a minute to water quarter sections of wheat, alfalfa, grain sorghum, cotton, and co irrigates more than 16 million acres of farmland (Guru et, al. 2000). Pumping water from the Ogallala Aquifer freed agriculture expansion beyond what was possible by relying on rainfall yields. According to Miller, Va ndome, & McBrewster (2009),
42 arid climate requiring most of its scant agriculture to be heavily during the dry seasons, many of them will use their irrigation systems during the wet seasons as well (Ashworth, 2006). With high amounts of water being used, farmers have been consuming the aquifer at a rate conservatively estimated to be ten times the amount of the natural recharge (Guru e t, al. 2000). With a flip of a switch farmers are able to flood their fields, sprinkle their crops, or drip water on their crops regardless of weather conditions. Ranching is an activity of long standing in the South Plains region of Texas. With strict wat er laws and low levels of aquifers in California , many ranchers have moved their cattle ranching operations to the South Plains (Ashworth, 2006). As a result, 25% of all beef production comes from the state of Texas, with 63% of the beef coming from the So uth Plains area (Texas Agricultural Statistics Service 1999) . The dry climate and lenient environmental laws -along with the availability of water from the Ogallala aquifer -make the South Plains a vital ranching spot. Only through the discovery of irr igation has ranching been able to thrive on the South Plains. This is due to the fact that ranching consume tons of water, because more acreage is needed. Which is why ranching produces a higher value crop compared to cotton, which is why more land is need s to be irrigated (Ashworth, 2006). While irrigation permitted the expansion of ranching in the South Plains of Texas, the effect on farming has arguably been greater. With the expansion of irrigation, the South Plains has experienced a shift in land use from extensive ranching of cattle to intensive agriculture, especially cotton. The South Plains region has millions of acres of irrigated cropland drawing water from the Ogallala Aquifer (USDA, 1999). The South Plains region of Texas accounts for 51% of th e states total cotton production (Texas Agric ultural Statistics Service, 1999 ). Thus, the
43 South Plains region is making heavier and heavier use of water due to agricultural expansion. With heavy demands to produce cotton and raise cattle in the South Plain s region, the area has become dependent on the aquifer. With areas so heavily reliant on irrigation , the Ogallala Aquifer has experienced a decline in water levels (Guru et, al. 2000). Both the ranching and agriculture are dependent on the aquifer, individ ually there should be enough water, but collectively there is not enough water to source both industries (Ashworth, 2006). That said, ranching and agriculture are not the only water consumers in the South Plains of Texas. In addition , the region has seen major urban expansion. Lubbock is the largest city in the South Plains and one the fastest growing cities within the state of Texas, with a rapidly increasin g urban population. The Census Viewer shows that Lubbock grew by nearly 1 5% 2000 to 2010. 3 Rapid urban population has generated growth in urban water demand . This has resulted in overburdened urban wells in Lubbock. Similarly, nearby lakes and streams have diminish ed (Templer and Urban, 1996 & Reisner 1986). C ity offici als thus began purchasing large tracts of land in order to sink wells to provide for the water needs for urban residents underlying water. With the Ogallala Aquifer being underg round, the right of ownership becomes difficult to determine (Leslie, 2000). In sum, f rom the early 1960s to the present day, water usage for various reasons has risen in the South Plains of Texas. This has led to increasing scarcity and a brewing debate over water politics. T he debate over water rights has long been an underlying issue, as it involves a wide array of stakeholders who all declare their entitlement to open access to the Ogallala Aquifer (Carmack, 2010 and Fipps, 2002). According to Pearce nly the farmers know 3 (Census Viewer: http://censusviewer.com/city/TX/Lubbock ).
44 they hav e to dril l deeper and deeper to find it. And few in the corridors of power talk to farmers about a slow b urning disaster that will happen everywhere a t the same time, of course, each aquifer has its own countdown to extinction (p. 58). Management of Groundwater There are two general institutional arrangements for manage ment of water resources . One is to have an open access regime, having no limitations or restr ictions on how the groundwater gets used . The other is to constitute a governing body that will regulate groundwater usage , while trying to account for the input of stakeholders in order to ensure efficient resource manage ment . Given the problems of open access regimes, most attention has gone to the design of governance institutions. Here there are various alternatives, including government itself, often via public management or private property rights, as well as common pool ma nagement arrangements as among community members. In each case there are perils. every group there will be individuals who will ignore norms and act opportunistically when given a chance. There are also situations in which t he potential benefits will be so high that even strongly committed individu nsuring the importance to have a governing body that looks over how groundwater is being used. Further, h aving a governing body to monitor groundwate r is sometimes not enough. If penalties are not in place , then someone may break rules to obtain a profit (Ostrom, 1990). In such situations, external coercion is needed in order to ensure governance (Schelling, 1984). Regardless of whether these rules are enforced formally or informally , those who impose them must be seen as respectable and genuine, for if they are not, there will be resistance (Ostrom, Gardner, & Walker, 1994) . Ostrom (1990), maintains that : the presumption is made that i f individuals commit themselves to a contract whereby a stiff sanction will be imposed by
45 an external enforcer to ensure compliance during all future time periods, then each can make a credible commitment an obtain benefits that would not otherwise be atta inable (p. 44). Governance rules must be applied even to modest violations, even if the punishment is a warning; the violator needs to be aware that there will be repercussions for violating the rules (Dietz, Ostrom, & Stern, 2003 ) . This also implies that the severity of the sanctions will increase for each additional violation. If violators get caught for misusing groundwater , they can be fined, jailed, or lose water their rights , depending on the number of infractions . Howev er, people adapt and try to figure out new ways in order to get ahead by evad ing the rules (Dietz, Ostrom, & Stern, 2003) . T herefore , governance rules also need to evolve. For that reason, governance rules are a favorable way t o manage groundwater aquifers. The ability to have a governing body to monitor the resource, while being able to enforce penalties towards violators, requires adapting to change. If governance regimes have many requirements to avoid overuse of water resources, one need only be reminded of the alternative of open access. The warnings issued by Hardin ( 1968 ) are also expressed by Reisner (1986) for the case of groundwater in the west ern US . Reisner (1986) gives several examples of how an open access regime can lead to the destruction and demise of important water resources and state economies . California favored an open access regime with no governing law to monitor is undergro und an d surface water supply. A s a result , its cities and agriculture were able to expand. Consequently the aquifers, lakes, streams, and rivers of California dried up , forcing the state to look into alternative s ources of water . Today , the state of California i s highly dependent on neighboring states for its water supply. Texas provides another example of failing to implement effective govern ance of water resources . Texas also has an open access regime for groundwater, allowing landowners to
46 irrigate as they pl ease . According to Opie (2000) , the advances of irrigation have transformed the South Plains of Texas in to a fertile agricultural spot. An open access regime has allowed farmers to take advantage of a limited resource and withdraw water at unsustainable le vels . Cunfer (2005) documents the negative effects of open access in the South Plains: while resource extraction can increase for a time, it is unsustainable, and eventually will lead to scarcity, conflict he open access regimes describe d by Reisner (1986), Opie (2000), and Cunfer (2005) all generated social and environmental problems . Pre eminent among the problems are the issues of water scarcity and the consequent conflicts among users. Water Conflicts I arguably a need for more attention to the precursors to resource crashes, such as social conflicts over increasingly scarce resources. This focus is eminently useful in unde rstanding the history of water usage in many regions. These same arguments are also supported by Shiva (2002), in he fight and struggle over water scarcity is a story of greed, careless technologies, and of taking more than nature can rep (p. 2). Key to understanding water scarcity in the context of open access is the irony that there is competition among stakeholders with claims on water resources. Such competition drives political and economic conflicts over who gains easier access to the water. In a political economy perspective (Roberts and Emel 2002), the more powerful economic players and groups with more political influence tend to gain more favorable access to water, often via land rights. This in turn is ke y to benefitting them in the ir profit interests (Bollier 200 3). Hence one of the ironies of open access is unequal access due to political economy and inequalities of power. That said, while some social actors have greater access than others, this does not modify the
47 outcome: resource scarcity worsens. In turn, scarcity intensifies conflicts and the importance of political and economic power in securing access, which itself only worsens scarcity. Reisner (1986) chronicles the battle s among neighboring state s in the US over dwindling supplies of fresh water . Water has become economics; governments and private stakeholders who control limited supplies of fresh water in turn control the means of production, which allows them to become profitable and powerful (R eisner, 1986, Ashworth, 2006; and Ward, 2002). A cquisitions of key water resources are already taking place in Los Ang e les, California. Through politics pressure and economic influence, the city has taken control over the state s limited supply of freshwat er. Los Angeles routinely c laim s that the cit s immense urban population takes precedent over the demands of farmers (Reisner, 1986). This is key in conflicts with other stakeholders to secure and control access to fresh water. However, in west Texas, the exact opposite has taken place . Farmers have asserted almost complete control of the state s limited supply of fresh water , again on the strength of political influence and monetary importance based on the size of the agricultural sector (Reisner, 1986 an d Opie 2000). While the political players with the upper hand differ, the political contest is similar, and the outcome is the same: increasing water scarcity. Of course, the net effect of scarcity overall is more difficult access to water for most social stakeholders have for water, severe water scarcity eventually becomes a problem for all interest groups. C ities running out of water must impose limits or ban s on usage , and farmlands becom e less productive and eventually unprofitable or even inhabitable. Reisner (1986) writes: Agricultural paradises were formed out of seas of sand and humps of rock. Its worst critics have to acknowledge its
48 The cost of all this, however, was a canalization of both our Who is going to rescue the salt poisoned land? ... To dredge trillions of tons of silt out of the expiring reservoirs ? ... Somewhere down the line , our descendants are it will b e a miracle if they can pay it. (p. 487 488). One way to understand water conflicts is to view wa ter politics as the clash between two cultures (Shiva, 2002) . The first sees water as a scarce resource and tries to ensure that water is available to all stakeholders in order to sustain productive uses and the conservation of life. This view leads to the understanding of water as a right and argues for broad access, but fails to provide a regulatory mechanism on water usage. The other sees water as a commodity, which celebrates ownership as important to permit use of water to maximize profit. This view argues for privatization of water as a regulatory mechanism to better manage water usage. However, commodification of water raises huge ethical issues; commodification and markets generate economic value at the cost of overlookin g that water is fundamental for life and society cannot exist without broad access (Glennon, 2009) . These same sentiments are expressed by Freyfogle (2003) : t forget that the community also ha s rights, and that the happiness and wellbeing of every citizen depends of their As a result, many countries have fought over water rights. O ngoing water war taking place , often (Ward, 2002, p. X) . The technologies and the demands of profiteering have left rivers, lakes, streams, and aquifers in
49 disarray and when the water disappears there is no alternative. According to Anderson and Snyder (1997) alternative means of achieving the desired nee (p . 8). There is no substitute for water; once water is gone it is gone. Denying people water by privatizing water destroys society. Water connects us all, and the ability of a select few to have control over this limit ed resourc (Ward, 2002, p. XV) . The ability to privatize water creates a world of profound i nequality. Shiva (2002) states People have the right to life and the resources that sustain it, such as water ; the necessity of water to life is why under custo (p. 21). Water has traditionally been treated as a natural right, where everyone has access to water. The notion of conserving was a principles that w as once shared. However, with th e advances of technology and globalization , usu fructuary rights and other customary rights have increasingly been undermined (Shiva, 2002). This lead s to the rule of private property , which in turn permits the right to sell and trade water ( Reisner 1986; S hiva 2002; Ward 2002 ). The law of appropriation create s unequal distribution of water as some stakeholders can acquire more water rights than others. Ironically, as privatization begets appropriation, water usage can increase, yielding scarcity and a sit uation not unlike that caused by open access . As a result, water conflicts have developed among communities/neighbors, neighboring states, between states, and between states and the federal government (Reisner, 1986). Chellaney (2013) believes that water commodity could eventually, as an asset class, overtake other resources that remain in great
50 result it becomes vital in order to survival. Water has already become overexploited in certain areas such as Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, thus triggering disputes among neighboring states. As a result, states no longer tru st one another, conflicts and disputes begin to emerge on who has water rights (Chellaney, 2013) (Reisner, 1986) . Water in the 21 st century will become what oil was in the 20 th century a source of prosperity and struggle (Chellaney, 2013) . O il has shaped and defined the 20 th century; it has transformed relationships among countries, while also motivating war and death. The struggle for water in the 21 st century will involve similar struggles. Unlike water, oil has alternatives; using other sources of energy can reduce the dependence of oil . By contrast, water has no substitut es (Chellaney, 2013) . People can survive wars, diseases, and pla gues, but without water no one can survive. Water resources are thus being stretched , putting states and countries in dangerous situations. Nations from all over the world are aware of a dwindling fresh water supply (Leslie, 2000). Consequently, as water demands grow and supply shrinks, the potential for conflicts among different user groups grows, will intensify, constraining economic development and contributing to a massive destruction social processes that will produce violence within societies (Leslie , 2000).
51 CHAPTER 3 DATA AND METHODS The r esearch questions in this dissertation have intensive data and analytical requirements since they involve mixed methods . I adopted a mixed methods approach because the questions at hand involve a combination of qua litative and quantitative analysis . Whereas the first and second questions involve GIS data as inputs into a quantitative analysis of water usage of the Ogallala Aquifer, the third question requires qualitative analysis of narratives. With mixed methods, quantitative methods; the question is how to use the methods as that they complement each other appr oach permits a broader range of research questions to be addressed (Creswell, 2009). This chapter therefore reviews my data sources , methods of data collection, measures employed in analysis , and methods of analys i s to address my three research questions. Research Site The re s e a r c h site in this dissertation is the South Plains a r e a of North T e x a s (Image 3 1) . I selected this area for several reasons. T he O g a ll a la A qui f e r covers a massive area in central North America, so it was necessary to focus on a specific portion. The South Plains is a region with difficult agricultural growing conditions due to climate, which makes irrigation there necessary for agricultural expansio n. Addition a l l y , the South Plains is home to one of the f a stest g ro w i n g c ities in the state of Texas , L ubbo c k , which makes the issue of urban demand for water important there. Finally, focusing on the South Plains specifically in North Texas permits an evaluation of an open access regime for water usage, which is now unique in the Great Plains as compared to other states such as Oklahoma.
52 Within the South Plains area of North Texas, I focus on specific counties. This is because water management in Texas involves localized institutions, which multiplies the number of data sources required in order to perform analysis. Counties and water management districts vary substantially in terms of their data availability; most simply lack available data for various reasons. I therefore selected specific counties that differed in their profiles of user groups but also had available data on water levels in wells used to pump water out of the Ogallala Aquifer. I focus on Lubbock and Dawson Counties (Image 3 2) since the y are located on opposite ends of the South Plains and they differ in their water user groups. Whereas Lubbock is located at the northern end of the South Plains in North Texas and has a large urban population, Dawson located at the southern end of the Sou th Plains and lacks a large city. Figure 3 1. Study Region in the South Plains of North Texas . Maps and files created by Robert Lee Cavazos. Data provided from the MUWCD.
53 Figure 3 2. Observation Areas: Dawson and Lubbock County . Maps and files created by Robert Lee Cavazos provided from MUWCD.
54 GIS Data , Spatial Data Processing, and Quantitative Analysis The first research question takes up the issue of variation in water levels among different wells in the same open access regime. The second research question proposes a comparison of rural and urban water availability . Both require quantitative data with spatial information. I therefore make use of multiple geographic data sets as processed for analy sis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Two key spatial data sources provide data on water levels in wells tapping the Ogallala Aquifer and water usage among agricultural producers. I have obtained maps of wells with information about groundwater levels for locations across the Ogallala Aquifer in the South Plains of North Texas. The well maps come with data sets that provide information on the locations of the wells and water levels over time. Data on water usage and types of land use come from sa tellite maps of pivots in the two counties selected for analysis. I also have data sets for pivots with information showing which crops are being watered by pivots, the areas being watered, and the amount of water used for irrigating the crops. The maps a nd data sets for the wells and pivots come from two water conservation districts located within the South Plains: the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District, located in Lubbock, and the Mesa Underground Water Conservation District, located in Lamesa. These two districts cover the areas of Lubbock and Dawson counties included in the analysis in this dissertation. Both data sets cover an extended time period, but they have certain limitations. The time period of both data sets refers to a ten ye ar period from 2002 2012. However, the years 2010 2011 and 2011 2012 will be the years in which I focus on in order to model the change s in water levels based on water usage and other factors . These years were selected because they included the most comple te list of pivot data for the year s 2010 and 2011, as a result both time periods where needed in order obtain a complete data set. Unfortunately, p ivot data were not available
55 for all years in the geodata sets, so I model changes in well levels in years su rrounding the years for which pivot data are available . Specifically, pivot data refer to a given agricultural year, as the growing season and thus watering largely occur during the middle of a calendar year. The well data refer to well levels as of Januar y in a given year. I therefore model changes in well levels from January 2010 to January 2011 using data on active pivots during 2010; and I model changes in well levels from January 2011 to January 2012 using data on active pivots in 2011. Key to the firs t step in the analysis is the measurement of the dependent variable which concerns water levels in the wells tapping the Ogallala Aquifer. The well data include measures of the available water that is in storage and compare s all yield . This (Torell, Libbon, & Miller, 1990) . S aturated thickness can provide an estimate of well depth necessary to reclaim or mine all available groundwater (Torell, Libbon, & Miller, 1990). The level of thickness determines can vary from place to place due to the geology of the aquifer itself . The higher the saturated thickness, the more water there is to use; the lower the saturated thickness, the less water there is for consu mption (Torell, Libbon, & Miller, 1990) . In turn, saturated thickness determines observable water levels in the Ogallala Aquifer. I therefore use observed water depth in wells tapping the Ogallala Aquifer to measure water availability. Water level can be measured by depth of the surface water in the aquifer as compared to the bottom of the aquifer. By extension, a comparison of well levels from one year to the next permits measurement of change in water availability. This permits measurement of declines in water levels and thus gives an indication of whether water usage is depleting the aquifer.
56 Given the limitations in the availability of detailed data for pivots, I focus on the comparison of water levels in 2010 , 2011 and 2012 to measure change in water availability in the study sites. The timing of observations is important. The years of 2008 2010 were years of exceptional drought on the High Plains. Hence it is likely that I will observe significant declines in water levels due to heavy reliance on irri gation in the study sites. Data on well levels come from two different underground water conservation districts (UWCDs) in North Texas. The Mesa Underground Water Conservation District (MUWCD) is only responsible for the reporting and monitoring of wells and pivots located within Dawson County. The conservation district is made of a board that operates independently from the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District ( HPWD ), which has its own rules and regulations. The High Plains Water district o n the other hand, is responsible for the remaining twenty counties above the Ogallala Aquifer in North Texas . The High Plains district also has its own rules and laws separate from the Mesa district. Dawson County wanted to operate freely and differently c ompared to the rules and laws being set up by the High Plains District (President of MUWCD); as a result they created their own conservation district. The well data refer to both geographic coverages and their corresponding attribute files. The coverages provide geographic coordinates that refer to point locations for each well in the study area. The attribute files contain the coordinates for well locations as well as information about aquifer levels and their changes over time. Together, the coverages an d attribute files permit a spatial temporal analysis of water availability in the Ogallala Aquifer in South Plains of North Texas. This includes both an evaluation of where water levels are lower, as well as where water levels are dropping the fastest.
57 G iven the importance of using spatial data, I employed geographic information systems ( GIS ) to work with the coverages and attribute files. In this dissertation, I used ArcGIS version 10.0. GIS permits various forms of data processing in order to permit ana lysis. In particular, GIS permits spatial matching of different spatial data files. I therefore overlaid the geographic coverage of wells with the pivot data. This allowed me to relate the spatial distribution of wells and water levels in the aquifer to wa ter usage among the pivots. Key to the GIS processing was the use of spatial information to relate wells to pivots. Originally I had planned to use data on land parcels to relate landowner characteristics to well levels. For several reasons involving lack of data compilations on landowner records with land use data, I was unable to do so. Instead, I focus on pivot data, which do provide information on land use via crop type and agricultural or ranching activity, as well as water usage. This however leaves open the issue of how to relate pivots to wells. The GIS permits creation of spatial buffers around points in a geographic coverage order to identify whether other key features in a landscape fall within the buffer. I therefore created buffers of varying s ize around the wells in order to observe pivots falling within the buffer. The geology of the Ogallala Aquifer is such that proximity of pivots to wells is likely to make water usage at a given pivot influential on water levels in nearby wells. What is les s clear is the distance up to which water usage at a pivot will affect water levels in nearby wells. I therefore selected buffers of 0.25 miles, 0.50 miles, 0.75 miles and 1 mile. This permitted construction of indicators from the pivot data, including the number of pivots, the area (in acres) irrigated by the pivots (within the well buffer area), and water usage by each pivot. Further, I was able to calculate the same measures for pivots watering specific crops, notably cotton (the most common crop) and al falfa (the most water intensive crop).
58 A list of independent variables was used in constructing the pivot data and other coverages. In addition to the variables from the pivot data, I also include as independent variables measures of distances from wells to key towns as well as major roads like highways. Finally, I also accounted for possible spatial autocorrelation in saturated thickness, as aquifer levels under one property may also be affected by those under neighboring properties. I therefore created additional buffers of 0.25, 0.50, 0.75 and 1 mile around each well in order to count other wells within those buffer distances. This permits observation of possible spatial autocorrelation in wells. If there are more wells close to each other, the presence of multiple nearby wells may also affect observed well levels. With the creation of variables in the GIS, I then exported the attribute files with the dependent and independent variables for statistical analysis. The dependent variable s will be change in water levels in wells from 2010 to 2011 and from 2011 to 2012 , and the independent variables will include spatial autocorrelation measures of other well levels, distances to key towns and roads, and various specifications of the pivot data for 2010 and 20 11, including the number of pivots and areas irrigated, both overall and for specific crops. The analysis will thus be multivariate and involve regression models of changes in water levels. The models will thus permit evaluation of variation in observed we ll levels under the same open access regime. This in turn provides greater insight into variations in usage under open access, a key issue that has received limited attention in most prior work on open access, which tends to pay little attention to inequal ities among resource users. However, second research question takes up the issue of rural and urban water demand in the South Plains of Texas , within Lubbock County . Due the huge urban expansion taking place and a heavy demand on agriculture has a created an increase in water usage. The research
59 examines changes in water levels among rural and urban wells to see who accounts for more growth in water usage. T his raises inquiries about the relative importance o n who contributes to declines . Thus, I compare average changes in water levels in rural and urban wells in L ubbock County from 2002 to 2012. To differentiate the rural and urban, I accessed several maps of Lubbock County to identify urban service boundarie s f or the Lubbock and the surrounding area. This provided an explanation of the rural an d urban areas of Lubbock County. This definition of the rural and the urban in turn permitted identific ation of rural and urban wells for the county of Lubbock, Texas . Furthermore, I used geographic thematic images within ArcMap in order to define the urban boundary to determine urban and rural wells falling outside the boundary. The analysis will entail the use of an ANOVA (F test) to evaluate statis tical significance of who accounts for greater usage, in addition a descriptive statistics will also be incorporated to exam changes in water well levels among rural and urban users. Active Interviewing and Qualitative Analysis T o address my third research question, which takes up issues of water politics , I pursued a qualitative methodology to document the discourses of different stakeholder groups with interests in using water from the Ogallala Aquifer. While many stakeholders recognize t hat open access to water permits expansion, it worsens water scarcity, which makes water rights a political question. The ensuing competition implies that different stakeholder groups articulate public discourses as legitimating narratives justifying their use of water and/or criticizing the water usage of others. The same is also likely to apply to the issue of proposals for regulation of water usage. Perspectives such as TOP and social structure/habitus lead one to expect that proposals to regulate water usage will lead to resistance among users in an open access regime, even if water scarcity is growing.
60 To document these discourses, I interview ed different stakeholder groups . These stakeholder groups were acknowledged based on the geographic location wit h the south plains, meaning only those located within Dawson and Lubbock County where selected within this study. I identified stakeholder groups by first listing both government regulatory agencies as well as key user groups. The relevant regulatory agenc ies in the South Plains of North Texas include the MUWCD and the HPWD . I therefore sought and obtained interviews with the presidents and other players from both UWCDs. In addition, given the large and growing importance of intensive agriculture in the st udy area, I sought and interviewed local farmers from the surrounding South Plains in North Texas . The sample size includes 30 respondents: 25 farmers and 4 members from both water districts, and 1 water conservationist . I included the conservationist to i ncorporate a more critical voice among the discourses. This is to recognize that regulators and user groups are not the only stakeholders. A snowball sampling design was used in the acquiring of interviews throughout the study. A snowball sample relies on referrals of initial subjects to generate additional subjects (Goodman, 1961). The initial part of the snowball sampling started with the president of the Mesa Underground Water Conservation District (MUWCD). I contacted him by email and within a few days he responded, he has been a major contributor within the snowball sampling design. Once I conducted my interview with him, he then introduced me to the vice president of MUWCD and local farmer; from here he gave me the names and phone numbers of additional farmers who might be interested in talking with me, which in return they gave the names of additional farmers who they knew and stakeholders. I also received information from my father Rudy Cavazos, who owns a local business in Lamesa, Texas; named Cavazo s Metal Work. The vast majority of his customers are local farmers; as a result he was able to place me in contacts
61 with several local farmers throughout the south plains. I conducted the same process with the High Plains Underground Water District as had done with the MUWCD. However, they were less incline d to give information in regards of personal contacts. As for the water conservationist , I did a Google search looking for a conservationist within the south plains. I examined her contact information and sent her an email scheduling a meeting. By conducting a snowball sample I was able to obtain liable contacts who were willing to talk. To protect the anonymity of the respondents, farmers where referred to as F1, F2, MUWCD; MVP to be associated with the vice president of the MUWCD, HP reflects the president of the High Plains Underground Water District; HVP will be linked to the vice president of the High Plains Underground Water District; and WC to tie to water conservationist. Each respondent is vital to the understanding of urban vs. agriculture in determining who is at fault in the demise of the Ogallala Aquifer. With each stakeholder, I conducted an in depth interview. In depth interviews complement the GIS analyses by providing qualitative data ab out how stakeholder groups understand water politics. The interviews focused above all on several key themes: the water usage, the consequences of open access for water scarcity , the views on water usage by other stakeholders , a nd the question of proposals to regulate water usage . Focusing on these themes permits analysis of how stakeholders understand and articulate their own water usage as distinct from that of others. These themes also permit evaluation of how stakeholders und erstand the consequences of water usage under an open access regime. I conducted t he interviews According to respondent and interviewer as they articulate ongoing interpretive structures, resources and
62 respondent from a repository of opinions and reasons or a wellspring of emoti ons into a Therefore, if I am able to understand the interviewee and gain a background of the ir history, their answers became more easily interpreted. Active interviewing allowed for me to become more personal with the interviewee. Since, the interviewee has knowledge in regards of the topic and since I as the interviewer also have knowledge of the topic, it allowed for us to become engaged with one another . I saw this take place during several interviews. When asked farmers to discuss where the main supply of water comes from. The majority of all farmers said the Ogallala, however once asked this qu estion they began talking about the geology of aquifer, which then led to the discussion that the region was running low on water, and that their irrigation pumps were not pumping out the hundreds of gallons of water they once did . During these transition questions, I was able to provide insight to these inquiries, which made the interview more open and informative with richer information . By then, t he dynamic of the interview had shifted ; I was no longer asking the questions as much as I had become the lis tener, adding an inquiry from time to time. As a result, active interviewing allowed for the interview to become more personal, without the constraints of structured interview question s being asked. The interviewee was able to take the interview wherever he or she preferred , because both parties had a knowledge of the topic that was being addressed . This in return had a dramatic effect on the richness of the information acquired from the interviews, and provided additional insights that informed the resul ts. A ctive interview ing allows the interviewee to go beyond the limits of a questionnaire.
63 There is no obligation to stay within the initial questions, because the interviewee can go beyond those boundaries and bring up nuances and related topics that woul d have otherwise been lost in a structured interview approach. Grounded Theory Once all interviews and observations were conducted and transcribed, a grounded theory approach was used to coding and analysis . Grounded theory was first articulated by Glase r and Strauss (1967) , but since then grounded theory has been elaborated along multiple lines (Glaser, 1992; Strauss and Corbin, 1990). The main concept of grounded theory has remained the same anged (Walker and Myrick, 2006). T he goal of the grounded theory technique is to develop theory from data in contrast to analytic techniques that verify theory with data. As such, grounded theory is quintessentially an inductive method of analysis, as any observations and codes. While grounded theory did start off as a positivist approach to induction, it has become more constructionist. As a resu lt grounded theory has evolved and shifted t o permit greater latitude of interpretation insofar as the analyst pays more attention to how interviewees construct their understandings (Charmaz, 2006). close to the pa (Mills, Bonner, & Francis, 2006, p. 7) . This allows for researchers to identify with theory and wh ich in return allows them to live out their views in a process of inquiry (Mills, Bonner, & Francis, 2006) . Charmaz (2000) adopts a constructionist approach to grounded theory by contend ing that data do not merely provide a win dow on reality. Rather , the discovered reality arises from the interactive process and its As a result , Charmaz has used grounded to
64 identify meaning s of the data from the perspective of interviewees. T he process of grounded theory needs to be suggestive of the experiences of the participants, thus showing the importance the participant in the research. While they researcher may be an alytical in their writing , they must work to represent the constructed understandings of the participant. This then becomes a so that the reader can make the connections between analytical findings and the data from which the (Mills, Bonner, & Francis, 2006, p. 7) . Thus exploring topics the participant finds important is critical, as it allows the researcher to find other alternatives of information (Charmaz, 2006) . Furthermore, a constructivist approach places priority on the phenomena of study and sees both data and analysis as created from shared experiences and relationships with participants (Charmaz, 2006, p. 1 30) . The constructionist approach to grounded theory articulated by Charmaz (2000) works well with the active interview approach described by Holstein and Gubrium (1997). Whereas active interviewing highlights interviewee perspectives on a question, constructionist grounded theory underscores the need for interpretation to focus on how interviews construct their understandings of the topics at hand. The ability to gain perspectives from participants allows for construct ed meanings to emerge. Construct the research process and products and consider how their theories evolve. Constructivist see facts and values as linked, they acknowledge that what they see rests on values. Thus, const ructivists attempt to become aware of their presuppositions and to grapple with how they (Charmaz, 2006) . The constructionist approach to grounded theory similarly recognizes that analysts also construct t heir understandings of interviewee perspectives. This implies that constructionist
65 grounded theory is not entirely inductive, insofar as analysts are themselves social actors with viewpoints and expectations. Hence I do admit that I went into this study wi th some expectations. nt and past research, I expected that stakeholders would recognize the problems of open access which in return has led to the development of TOP across the south plains . And given the rapid increases in water usage , I expected stakeholders to recognize their roles in increasing water scarcity. But given the social con s truc tion of beliefs among multiple stakeholders, I also anticipated them to largely blame each other. And given social structure and habitus surroundi ng the historical implementation of open access in North Texas, I also expect that water users will articulate resistance to proposals for regulation of water usage, even despite water scarcity. Despite having expectations, due to the uncertaint ies of open access among stakeholders and farmers , g rounded theory is still a useful methodology. In depth interviews, especially in an active interview mode, permit stakeholders to elaborate as they articulate their discourses, which permits greater depth of underst anding and may reveal nuances unanticipated by theory or the researcher. As often happens in the conduct of in depth interviews and grounded theory coding, there were some surprises in this research, which these methods were well designed to capture. An in ductive grounded theory approach was thus useful despite expectations as a means of documenting how these possible adjustments are made and how stakeholders articulate them. Analysis I conducted my analyses in three phases in order to answer my three res earch questions. Whereas the first and second research questions are quantitative, I employ quantitative analysis to answer those questions, in Chapters 4 and 5, respectively. And whereas the third and final research question is qualitative, I employed qua litative analysis to address that question, in Chapter 6.
66 Chapter 4 evaluates the covariates of rural (agricultural) water usage in terms of changes in well levels in Dawson County from 2010 to 2012 . I ran two sets of models: one for 2010 2011 and another for 2011 2012. M ultiple regression analysis permitted evaluation of the characteristics of pivots, distances to other landscape features, and spatial autocorrelation with other wells as they affect changes in water levels in the wells observed. A multiple regression allows the researcher to determine the overall fit (variance explained) of the model and the relative contribution of each of the predictors to the total variance explained (Agresti and Finlay, 2007). Diagnostic tests also permit evaluation of w hether independent variables going into a multiple regression analysis exhibit multicollinearity or other problems that can violate the assumptions of regression models. I evaluated model performance by observing the coefficient of determination ( R 2 ) and I reviewed the importance of the independent variables by comparing the inferential test statistics (t tests) and corresponding p values for their coefficients. The critical level in significance testing was set at the p <. 05 level, which is the customary level when working with statistical significance in the social sciences (Agresti and Finlay, 2007). Variables with coefficients with larger inferential test statistics and thus smaller p values were considered the more important variables in the models. I ran multiple regression models by progressively adding more variables in order to observe how the addition of new independent variables affected the effects of other independent variables. In particular, I also ran multiple specifications of the models by substituting sets of variables based on different geographic buffers. This applied to both pivot data, for which I established four different distance buffers, as well as the well data, which also had four buffers. This permitted comparisons of models w ith variables with different distance buffers in order to
67 evaluate which model was strongest. This in turn allowed identification of the appropriate distance buffers as being the best fit to the data observed for well levels, thus providing a sense of how far away pivots and other wells are as they affected water levels in a given well. Finally, data for Dawson County also permitted specification of models for specific crops. I therefore also ran models with pivot and well data related to cultivation of cot ton (the most common crop) and alfalfa (the most water intensive crop). This permitted comparisons of model strength and coefficients for the effects of different crops on water levels in wells. For t he second step in the analysis I compared changes in w ater levels in rural and urban wells in Lubbock County for 2002 to 2012. This permits rural urban comparisons over a series of years to see if differences ran the same direction or varied among years. I then ran statistical tests to evaluate the significan ce of any differences in changes in well levels. Specifically, I ran a series of one way ANOVA Test s to determine the characteristics of rural and urban users to see who accounts for greater water well level changes. The ANOVA test allows the researcher to determine the ov erall variance explained of two or more samples , by comparing the means of those samples and determining whether any o f those means are significantly different from each other. Once again I reviewed the importance of the independent variables by comparing the inferential test statistics (F tests) and corresponding p values. As with chapter 4, t he critical level in signific ance testing was set at the p <. 05 level, which is the accustomed level when working with statistical significance in the social sciences (Agresti and Finlay, 2007). For the qualitative analysis, I pursued data management before proceeding to coding and grounded theory . I obtained permission to record all interviews. For data management, I first transcribed all of the recorded interviews into MS Word version 2013. Transcription permitted detailed review of the field notes as preparation for coding.
68 The coding process flushes ideas from the narrative data. However, newer versions of that in turn permit invocation of preexisting theories to permit interpret ation of the findings. From here the codes are developed into co nceptual c ategories that gave brief explanation s of the coding process . In terms of the coding process I examined sentence structures of each interviewee, I then pulled out codes in which I t hought were relevant in regards of the research questions and literature review (see table 3 1). Table 3 1 examines the response of F6, in which he makes note that farmers ed , that regardless of what happens that is their (landowners ) water. So when he made those statements it quickly reminded me of parts of the research that I was trying find. As a result, I was able to derive codes such as depletion, usage, governance, and denial that I was able relate back to the research. I then focused on c onceptual categories by group ing together similar codes from the initial coding of the narrative data. Conceptual categories are not automatically raised into themes; they are only raised into themes when two or more concepts are tied together to form a theoretical theme. Thus once all coded was completed, the three main conceptual categories that emerged were scarcity, usage, and no governance. These three conceptual categories constituted connections between emergent themes and prominent conc epts with in the literature, while the analysis was able to add new dimensions in many substantive areas. Another key feature of the coding is writing memos. Memo writing is a process of fleshing out themes from the coded and categorized data and raising new questions that emerge during this brainstorming process. The memoing took place in two cognitive phases. In the first phase of the memo writing, concepts and themes fl eshed out positions of the respondents. During the second phase the researcher went back and wrote memos that critically assessed these
69 positions, explicated ambiguities, and contradictions in them. The advantage of approaching the data in two separate way s allows the researcher to analyze the data obtained from interviews, field notes, and photographs not colored by the critique of the researcher. Thus, theories discussed in chapter 2 will constitute possibilities for theoretical interpretation, which are provisional, and make up part of the process of contemporary grounded theory. As a result I will be drawing on preexisting theories when they fit the data, and only when they fit the data. Table 3 1. Coding Examples . Codes Average Change Depletion Usage Open access No governance No governance Denial Interview with F6 on 8 14 12 at 1:45 P.M. One of my main concerns is when you say the depletion of, it from heaven high to hell deep. need to be governed by anybody. If we want to pump it dry, pumped dry. We have a water district and they are fine as long as they ed them for anything else. We pumped our wells to where they are, they depleted
70 CHAPTER 4 DAWSON WELL COMPARISON Hardin (1968) and other accounts of open access assume that resource users are homogeneous and that there is not environmental variation in availability of the natural resource in question. Political economy accounts of resource scarcity however argue that resource usage vari es among users and locations (Em el and Roberts 1992). This chapter therefore presents a quantitative analysis of variation in changes in water levels in wells among locations in the South Plains of North Texas with an open access regime for water usage. By evaluating variation in changes in water levels in wells, we can see if water scarcity is equal throughout the geographic space and among users in an open access regime. This contributes to literature on institutions and resource management by extending accounts of open access regimes to co nsider variation in resource usage and scarcity. My analysis focuses on Dawson, a rural agricultural count y in the South Plains area of North Texas. Dawson county was selected because it is a typical rural community where ranching has increasingly been r eplaced by farming. Dawson also has relatively complete data for its monitoring wells . The analysis in this chapter proceeds as follows. I first present data on water levels in wells over time in Dawson County. This descriptive analysis documents decline s in water levels overall, but also reveals that changes in water levels also varied around the county. Indeed, whereas some wells show very rapid declines, many wells have declines that vary among years and there are even some wells where water levels ros e. The descriptive analysis includes a spatial component via mapping of overall changes in water levels in wells, which reveals spatial variation in changes. The second part of the analysis therefore pursues multivariate models of changes in water levels i n wells around Dawson County. I use data on well location, pivots used
71 for irrigation, and spatial autoregressive covariates to model changes in well levels. The results have some surprises, and indicate that there remains considerable unexplained variatio n in changes in well levels, which raises questions for future research to better understand why water availability changes as it does in the South Plains of North Texas. Changes in Water Levels in Monitoring Wells, Dawson County, Texas Farmers and other stakeholder groups access water by drilling wells down to the Ogallala Aquifer, thus water levels in those wells are indicative of water availability. One key question then becomes one of change in water levels in those wells. Data from M UWCD are available for wells for several recent years. I draw on data from 2002 to 2012, a period of rapid expansion in agriculture in the South Plains of North Texas. These data permit comparisons in well levels from one year to the next. I focus on wells used for monitoring purposes, for which data are more frequently available and thus permit more consistent measurement of changes in well levels from one year to the next. Well levels are measured in January of a given year, which reflects irrigation dur ing the growing season in the previous year as well as any recharge due to precipitation. Hence one can measure change from 2011 to 2012 to evaluate the effect of irrigation during the 2011 growing season, net of recharge due to rainfall and percolation of water thru the soil. A decline in water levels from 2011 to 2012 thus indicates greater usage than recharge; a sequence of yearly declines in water levels over many years in turn strongly suggests unsustainable water usage. By focusing on change in water levels from one year to the next, we can observe the extent to which water scarcity is progressing in Dawson County. Dawson C ounty has a useful number of monitoring wells (N=91). These monitoring wells are broadly distributed spatially around the county, thus permitting wide spatial coverage of water levels across the landscape in the county. Figure 4 1 shows the distribution of
72 monitoring wells around Dawson County. The map also shows the locations of pivot irrigation plots, indicated by the many circular features in the landscape. Pivot irrigation is a key form of mechanized agriculture in Dawson and other counties in the South Plains of North Texas. Measurement of water levels in wells in somewhat non intuitive as it involves many negative numerical val ues. Water levels are measured in terms of the depth of the surface of the aquifer water in feet below the level of the well at ground level on the surface where the well head stands. Hence if the water level is 150 feet down, the value for that well is 1 50. Further, declines in water levels in wells will take negative values. I calculated change in water levels by taking water level below the surface in year 1 and subtracting the water level below the surface in year 2. If the water level is declining, th e value of the water level below the surface in year 2 will be larger than that in year 1, and the change will be negative. Interpretation of changes in water levels is however intuitive with regard to water availability: declines in water levels, indicate d by negative change values, also indicate declining water availability. Table 4 1 shows the observed water levels for the 91 monitoring wells in Dawson County for each year between 2002 and 2012. Several findings of note appear in Table 4 1. First, the ov erall trend for one year to the next is for the negative values to increase. Whereas in 2002, the average water level in the wells was approximately 74 feet below the surface, by 2012, the average water level was roughly 82 feet down. There is variation fr om year to year, including some years with average decreases in water levels (i.e., a rise in water levels), but the 10 year trend overall suggests greater water withdrawals than recharge. The other key finding in Table 4 1 is that there are substantial st andard deviations in water levels among the wells. In part this reflects variations in altitude of the wells, but in part this also reflects the compartmentalized geology of the Ogallala Aquifer itself.
73 Table 4 1. Well Declines (Ft.) for Dawson County 20 02 2012 . Years Average Change Standard Deviation 2002 74.1695 40.63326 2003 75.9496 41.62149 2004 78.2825 42.92290 2005 75.6793 44.00658 2006 78.1056 44.28472 2007 77.4996 47.53899 2008 76.5143 44.77404 2009 79.1377 46.01803 2010 79.6064 46.14644 2012 78.9359 46.61155 Table 4 2 presents findings for changes from one year to the next in water levels in the Dawson monitoring wells. Data refer to 2002 2003 up to 2011 2012. The change variables are the key for understanding the dynamics of water levels in the Ogallala Aquifer, because they remove any effects of altitude and purely reflect the difference of water usage and recharge. Table 4 2 makes evident that water levels in the monitoring wells have largely declined from 2002 t o 2012. In 7 of the 11 periods compared, there were on average declines in water levels. Notably, the declines are generally larger than the increases in water levels. Most rises were under 1 foot, and most declines were over 1 foot. Notable is the large d ecline in water levels from 2011 2012. The 2011 growing season saw a record drought (in terms of days without rain) in and around Texas, so it is not surprising to observe an especially large drop in water levels from January 2011 to January 2012. Finally, it is important to note that Table 4 2 also shows sizeable standard deviations in changes in water levels in all years, though some years show greater variation than others. This confirms that water levels declined faster in some places in Dawson County t han others.
74 Table 4 2. Well Level Changes (Ft.) Dawson County 2002 2012 . Years Average Change Standard Deviation 2002 2003 1.7801 3.7221 2003 2004 2.3330 3.0909 2004 2005 2005 2006 2.6032 2.4263 11.7653 12.0400 2006 2007 0.6060 15.8499 2007 2008 .0.9853 17.3605 2008 2009 2.6234 5.8980 2009 2010 0.4687 4 .0497 2010 2011 2011 2012 0.67044 2.7219 2.5426 4.1772 2002 2012 7.4884 12.54 78 Given the broad spatial distribution of monitoring wells around Dawson County, and given the variation observed in water levels and changes therein over time, it is useful to map water levels in wells across the study area. Figure 4 1 therefore presents a thematic map of the water levels among the monitoring wells in Dawson County. I have used colors to indicate overall net changes in water levels from 2002 to 2012, with cooler colors (blue) to indicate a rise in water levels (and thus increased water avail ability) and warmer colors (yellow, orange, red) to indicate declines in water levels (and thus increased water scarcity). The thematic map thus shows the spatial distribution of changes in water levels in wells in Dawson County over a 10 year period. Figu re 4 1 shows a clear spatial pattern, with rising well levels near the edges of the map and declines in the middle of the map. The areas with declines appear to be associated with circular features that are croplands irrigated by pivots. According to MUWCD , the center of Dawson County is where the main part of the Ogallala runs. This helps explain why there is a high concentration of wells as well as pivots located in and around the middle of the county.
75 The observation of a spatial association between wat er levels in wells and the density of pivots and circular irrigation fields is perhaps not surprising. However, Figure 4 1 clearly indicates that land use is indeed related to water usage and thus water levels in wells. Where crop irrigation is more preval ent, water levels in wells are likely to drop faster than other locations. This confirms that agricultural land use is a key to understanding changes in water levels in wells as in Dawson County. Figure 4 1 also suggests that there is a spatial process beh ind the observed spatial pattern in the distribution of changes in water levels in wells in Dawson County. Wells with larger declines in water levels tend to be located near other wells with larger declines in water levels. This suggests a spatial process such that a decline in the water level in one well may affect the water level of nearby wells. This in turn provides evidence of the problem of open access: exploitation of a resource by one user affects availability of the resource for others. However, Fi gure 4 1 also reveals that the effect of one user on others is spatially dependent: water use by one user primarily affects nearby users rather than more distant users. Determinants of Change in Water Levels in Wells, Dawson County, Texas The analysis thu s far in this chapter provides evidence of declines in water levels in monitoring wells in Dawson County. The trend of declining water levels suggests unsustainable s theory of open access. However, the findings thus far also revealed important variation in declines in well levels based on location, especially as related to proximity to center pivot irrigation and proximity to other wells. The second part of the anal ysis therefore pursues an evaluation of variation in changes in water levels in monitoring wells in Dawson County. I pursue multivariate statistical models with independent variables related to the location of a given well, proximity of pivots, and proximi ty
76 of other wells. Per discussion in the previous chapter, I relied on multiple sources of geo data for wells, pivots and other features in the landscape of Dawson County. The dependent variable in the models will be change in water levels from 2010 2011 and from 2011 2012. That is, I will run two sets of models, namely one for each change period. I focus on these two periods because data for independent variables (notably pivots and water usage) are only available for recent years in Dawson County. These two periods are also noteworthy because the 2010 2011 period was a fairly typical period of decline in water levels, while the 2011 2012 period exhibited a much more rapid decline. Hence by running models for both periods, we can evaluate whether there are differences in the factors that account for variation in changes in water levels. The models include several independent variables. The first set of independent variables account for well location. This reflects the importance of ecological gradients, inc luding altitude. Wells farther to the north and west tend to be on higher ground. Location may also be related to precipitation and other climatic factors that could affect water levels in the wells. To account for well location, I include X and Y coordina tes of each well. A key independent variable concerns land use, especially agriculture, as evident in center pivot irrigation systems. I drew data on pivots from data obtain from the MUWCD . I used a GIS to observe the spatial distribution of active pivots 2011. I used the 2010 data on pivots to model change in water levels from 2010 to 2011, and 2011 pivot data to model change in water levels from 2011 to 2012. As noted in chapter 3, I related pivots to wells spatially by drawing buffers of varying distances around wells of 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, and 1.0 miles. I chose those distances for the buffers because there is a high density of pivots in parts of Dawson County. For each buffer, I counted the number of pivots, the area
77 within the buffer being irrigated by the pivots (in acres), and total water usage by each pivot. I then ran separate models for each variable for each buffer distance to pivots. I proceeded provisionally because I did not have an a priori reason to expect one buffer to be a better specification than another. Hence this required running a series of models to compare model performance. This provided a means of identifying the best specification of buffers around wells to explain variation in changes in water levels. If larger buffers yield stronger models, it indicates that pivots farther away from wells also affect changes in water levels in wells. The models also account for spatial autocorrelation in changes in water levels in wells. This reflects the spatial pattern observed in Figure 4 1. It is evident that change in water levels in one well affects change in water levels in nearby wells. I therefore defined buffers of varying distances around wells of 5, 7 and 9 miles. I chose those dist ance buffers based on preliminary analysis which indicated low densities of wells, which necessitated the use of longer distances for well buffers. For each distance buffer, I then calculated the average change in water levels in the surrounding wells. Thi s constitutes a spatial autoregressive factor that enters a multivariate model as an additional indep endent variable (Agresti & Finlay, 2009) . I again ran separate models with spatial autoregressive factors based on different di stance buffers in order to compare model performance. This permits quantitative evaluation of whether the effect of one well on another is on average very proximate or quite extensive in distance. I present the findings in terms of groups of models defined on the basis of the distance buffers to the pivots. This is because land use is a key explanation for declines in water levels in the monitoring wells. The location variables appear in all models and do not change. However, I also vary the spatial autoreg ressive factors, in order to evaluate model performance across all possible combinations of variables for pivots and other wells. I begin the presentation of results
78 with models for the 0.25 mile buffer for pivots, and then go on to the 0.5, 0.75 and 1.0 m ile buffers. These models refer to change in water levels from 2010 to 2011. I then repeat this sequence of models for the following year, 2011 2012. Change in Water Levels, 2010 2011: 0.25 Mile Pivot Buffer T able 4 3 presents a suite of models with the re sults of change in water levels in wells from 2010 to 2011 with various specifications of variables for pivots up to 0.25 miles from wells. I present a group of six models, all with varying specifications for the pivot variables for the 0.25 mile distance buffer and the various buffer distances for the well autocorrelation variables. Model 1 includes the number of pivots and the 5 mile well buffer, and model 2 includes the acreage irrigated by pivots and the same well buffer; this permits comparisons of th e relative performance of the models with the number of pivots vs. the acreage irrigated. Similarly, models 3 and 4 use the 7 mile well buffer, and models 5 and 6 use the 9 mile well buffer. In all of the models, I report the unstandardized coefficients, which estimate the effects of each independent variable on change in water levels in wells when all other independent variables are held constant. Thus, the unstandardized coefficient of latitude is 0.979, so for every degree increase in latitude, a 0.979 foot increase in water levels is predicted, holding all other variables constant. The coefficient for longitude is 3.277, so for every degree increase in latitude, a 3.277 foot increase in water levels is predicted, holding all other variables constant. Th e coefficient for the number of pivots within 0.25 miles of a well is 0.137, so for every unit decrease in there is a 0.137 foot change (a decrease) in water levels. The coefficient for the 5 mile well buffer is 0.092, so for every unit increase in the a verage change in water levels in wells up to 5 miles from a given well, there is a 0.092 increase in water levels. I employ the 0.05 level as the critical value for drawing inferences.
79 Table 4 3 shows no significant coefficients impacting the change of we ll withdraws for a 0.25 mile buffer in regards of pivots within the buffer radius of 5, 7, and 9 mile well, for the 2010 2011 period. This is supported by insignificance of the F tests for models 1 6, which suggests the coefficients have no direct impact o n the response variable. In addition to the low R 2 being reported for the models 1 6, demonstrates the data does not support any of the models. Change in Water Levels, 2010 2011: 0.50 Mile Pivot Buffer I ran the same models show n in Figure 4 4 for the 0.50 mile pivot buffer. The supposition was that extending the buffer area might affect the results. As it happened, the 0.50 mile buffer for the pivots also did not affect the findings, which we re uniformly insignificant. Change in Water Levels , 2010 2011: 0.75 Mile Pivot Buffer Table 4 5 represents results from the regression models with the 0.75 mile pivot buffer and the change in water levels in wells for the years 2010 2011. The seq uence of the models in Table 4 5 is the same as in Table 4 3: I vary the specification among the variables for pivots and the spatial autoregressive variables. But unlike in Table 4 3 where the results for pivot buffers out to 0.25 miles were insignificant, results for pivot buffers out to 0.75 do show statistical s ignificance. In Model 1, the effect of pivots within a 0.75 mile buffer is significant at the p <.05 level. The unstandardized coefficient for pivots within 0.75 miles is 0.121, so for every additional pivot within 0.75 miles, there is a 0.121 foot decre ase in water levels. Consequently, Model 1 for 0.75 pivot buffers is stronger than the equivalent model for 0.25 mile pivot buffers. The R 2 value for Model 1 in Table 4 5 is 0.112, so the model accounts for roughly 12% of the variation in change in water l evels. Correspondingly, the F test is also found to be significant at the p < .05 level, which signifies that the significant variables in the model yield a statistically significant model. The coefficients for the location and spatial autocorrelation vari ables were
80 insignificant. Model 2 replaces the number of pivots for the 0.75 mile buffer with the area irrigated, but this variable was insignificant, and thus the model was also. Model 3 again introduces the number of pivots along with the 7 mile spatial autocorrelation factor, and again the number of pivots is significant at the p <.05 level. In addition, the unstandardized coefficient for longitude is 4.418, so for every degree one moves westward there is a 4.418 increase in the change in water levels. The unstandardized coefficient for the number of pivots out to 0.75 miles is 0.133, so for every unit increase in pivots, there is a 0.133 decrease in water levels. Model 3 explains roughly 13% of the variation in change in water levels, and the F test i s significant at the p < .05 level. Model 4 again replaces the number of pivots with area irrigated. Unlike in Model 2, where the area irrigated out to 0.75 miles was insignificant, Model 4 shows a significant effect for area irrigated. The unstandardized coefficient for the area irrigated by pivots out to 0.75 miles is 0.003, so for every additional acre irrigated out to 0.75 miles, there is a 0.003 foot change in water levels. Model 5 replaces the 7 miles autoregressive factor with the 9 mile buffer fo r wells, and reintroduces the number of pivots. The number o f pivots is again significant; this time for every additional pivot, there is a 0.129 foot change in water levels. The R 2 is again roughly 12%, and the F test is found to be significant. The fi ndings thus far indicate that the distance buffer to pivots matters for understanding changes in water levels in wells during 2010 2011. Whereas the findings were insignificant for the 0.25 and 0.5 mile pivot buffers, the findings became significant for th e 0.75 mile pivot buffer, especially for the number of pivots. The more pivots are near a well, the larger the decrease in water levels. To a lesser extent, the increase in the distance of the pivot buffer to 0.75 miles also began to yield significant find ings for the area irrigated. According to all six measures
81 of model fit, the best fitting model is model 3. Based on the F test and R 2 ; longitude and the number of pivots within 0.75 miles have the biggest impacts on changes in water levels in wells in the years 2010 2011. Change in Wa ter Levels , 2010 2011: 1.0 Mile Pivot Buffer Given the emergence of significant findings for the models for the pivot buffer of 0.75 miles, I also ran models for pivot buffers out to 1.0 miles. One possibility is that the 0.75 pivot buffers were beginning to pick up the effects of pivots on change in water levels, and that going farther out, to 1.0 miles, might yield even stronger findings. T able 4 6 represents another suite of regression models, organized the s ame way as in Ta bles 4 3 and 4 5. The models in Table 4 6 now include variables for pivots for the 1.0 mile buffer. Model 1 shows that the coefficient for the number of pivots out to 1.0 miles is significant. For every additional pivot out to 1.0 mile from a well, there i s a 0.072 foot change in water levels. However, this coefficient is smaller than the coefficient observed for pivots out to 0.75 miles. Similarly, the R 2 and F test values for Model 1 using the 1.0 mile pivot buffer are smaller than their counterparts usi ng the 0.75 mile pivot buffer. Hence the 0.75 mile pivot buffer would seem closer to the appropriate distance for evaluating the effects of pivots on change in water levels in wells. However, this remains to be confir med by other models in Table 4 6 . M ode l 2 replaces the number of pivots with the acreage irrigated. Here the coefficient for the acreage irrigated out to 1.0 miles is significant, unl ike in Table 4 5 . For every unit increase in the acres irrigated out to 1.0 miles, there is a 0.002 decrease i n water level. Model 3 returns the number of pivots out to 1.0 miles and as in Table 4 5, Table 4 6 shows that both longitude and the number of pivots are statistically significant. For every degree one moves westward, there is a 4.281 foot change in wate r levels. At the same time, for every
82 additional pivot out to 1.0 miles, there is a 0.79 foot change in wa ter levels. Model 3 in Table 4 6 is slightly weaker than its equivalent in Table 4 5 . In Model 4, acreage again replaces number of pivots, and longi tude and acreage again are findings in Model 4 are broadly the same as those seen in Model 2. Models 5 and 6 again modify the spatial autoregressive variabl e and repeats the sequence of pivot variables. The findings are basically the same as in the other models: the number of pivots as well as acreage irrigated are both significant, though the models here are slightly wea ker than those seen in Table 4 5 . Ac ross all models in Table 4 6 for change in water levels from 2010 to 2011, both of the variables for pivots out to 1.0 miles from wells were significant. However, the number of pivots out to 0.75 miles had a larger unit effect than the number of pivots out to 1.0 miles. By contrast, the area irrigated by pivots out to 1.0 miles had a more consistent effect than acreage irrigated out to 0.75 miles. While overall the findings so far indicate that larger distance buffers for pivots yield stronger findings, the y also suggest the proper specification for the effects of pivots on changes in water levels lies somewhere between 0.75 and 1.0 miles. Change in Water Levels, 2011 2012: 0.25 and 0.5 Mile Pivot Buffers The third and final part of the analysis in this chapter repeats the modeling exercise for changes in water levels in monitoring wells in Dawson County from 2011 to 2012. Given the severe drought in the South Plains of North Texas and other parts of the US in 2011, water levels in wells in Dawson decline d more rapidly than in other years. This raises the question of whether the effects of location, pivots and other wells on changes in water levels in wells were consequently affected. I therefore repeat the modeling exercise from Tables 4 3 to 4 6 for 2010 2011 in Tables 4 7 to 4 10 for 2011 2012.
83 T ables 4 7 presents the findings from the six models of changes in water levels in wells from 2011 2012 with the 0.25 mile pivot buffer. The findings for changes in water levels in 2011 2012 differ from those seen for 2010 2011. In Models 1 and 2, the only significa nt variable is the five mile buffer for water changes in nearby wells during 2011 2012. In contrast to the 2010 2011 models, the 2011 2012 models show insignificant results for location and pivots. In Model 1, for every foot increase in the average water l evel in wells up to 5 miles from a given well, there is a 0.571 change in the water level of that well. Since water levels declined during 2011 2012, a more relevant interpretation is that for every foot decrease in water levels in nearby wells up to 5 mil es away, there was over a 0.5 foot decrease in a given well. This indicates a very strong spatial process of water levels in wells influencing each other in the context of a severe drought. Similarly, in Model 2, for every foot decrease in nearby well leve ls, there was a 0.593 decrease in a given well. Both models explain roughly 10% of the variation changes in water levels in wells from 2011 to 2012. Intere stingly, Models 3 6 in Table 4 7 are all insignificant. Hence location and pivots out to 0.25 miles did not matter for changes in water levels in wells during this period. Further, the only spatial autocorrelation variables that yielded significant effects were those specified with the 5 mile buffer. These findings indicate that the spatial effect of dec lines in well levels was limited in distance; going farther out from a given well, to 7 or 9 miles, yielded no significant evidently did not extend beyond 5 miles. This confirms the importance of localized reductions in water availability under an open access regime for water in the case of Dawson County. Water usage by one user does reduce water availability for other users, but only out to a certain distance.
84 Table 4 8 repeats the same suite of models for changes in water levels in wells for 2011 2012, but with the 0.5 mile buffer for pivots. Broadly spe aking, the findings in Table 4 8 are substantively the same as those seen in Table 4 7 . Replacing the pivot v ariables for the 0.25 mile pivot buffer with the 0.50 mile pivot buffer does not yield significant findin gs. As was the case in Table 4 7 , T able 4 8 shows significant effects for the spatial autocorrelation variable with the 5 mile buffer, shown in Models 1 and 2. In Model 1 for foot decrease in average water levels in wells out to 5 miles away, there was a 0.563 foot decrease in water levels in a given well. Similarly, in Model 2, for every foot decrease in average water levels in wells out to 5 miles away , there was a 0.558 foot decrease in the water level in a given well. Table 4 8 also indicates that spatial autoregressive factors for larger buffers had insignificant effects; this confirms that the distance up to which decreases in one well affect others are limited. Change in Water Levels, 2011 2012: 0.75 Mile Pivot Buffer T able 4 9 presents the results from the regression model for change in water levels from 2011 to 2012 with the 0.75 mile pivot buffer. I present findings from the models with the 0.75 mile pivot buffer separately because the results from the models with this pivot buffer differ substantially from the foregoing models with the 0.25 and 0.5 mile pivot buffers. Model 1 shows a significant effect of the number of pivots out to 0.75 miles f rom wells. For every additional pivot out to 0.75 miles, there is a 0.153 foot change in water levels. This coefficient is larger in the 2011 2012 model than for the same pivot buffer in the 2010 2011 model. This suggests that in the drought year of 2011, pivots out to 0.75 miles from wells had a larger effect on decreases in water levels. Model 1 also shows that the spatial autocorrelation measure for the 5 mile buffer was significant. For every foot decrease in average water levels in wells out to 5 mile s, there is a 0.544 foot decrease in the water level of a given well. This effect is comparable to that seen in the models in Tables 4 7 and 4 8 . That is, the emergence of an effect of pivots on water levels
85 for the 0.75 pivot buffer does not eliminate the additional effect of spatial autocorrelation among wells. Hence both pivots and other wells help explain the large decline in water levels in wells from 2011 to 2012. As a result, Model 1 is statistically significant and explains about 12% of the variatio n in change in well levels from 2011 to 2012. Model 2 replaces the number of pivots with the area irrigated by pivots out to 0.75 miles. Again, the indicators for both pivots and wells are significant. For each additional acre irrigated by a pivot within 0.75 miles of a well, there was a 0.004 foot change in water levels. Hence the coefficient for area irrigated out to 0.75 miles from wells in 2 011 2012 in Model 2 of Table 4 9 is larger than the corresponding coefficient for wells in 2010 2011, in M odel 2 of Table 4.5 . Model 2 thus also suggests that the drought of 2011 and the consequently large decline in water levels in wells can be accounted for by pivots, whether in terms of the number of pivots or the area irrigated. These findings confirm a greater impact of water usage for pivot irrigation in 2011 2012 on water levels in wells in Dawson County than the year before. In Model 2, the coefficient for the spatial autoregressive factor with the 5 mile buffer is again significant, and the coefficient is si milar to that seen in Model 1. Once again, for a one foot decrease in water levels in wells within the five mile buffer, there was a 0.526 foot decrease in the water level of a given well. Model 2 indicates the regardless of the specific variable employed to capture the effect of pivots and irrigation, spatial autocorrelation among wells out to 5 miles is important to understand declines in water levels in wells from 2011 to 2012. As a result, Model 2 is comparable in strength to Model 1 in Table 4 9 . The s trong findings thus far for the spatial autocorrelation factor for the 5 mile buffer on changes in water levels from 2011 to 2012 raises questions as to whether the effect of spatial autocorrelation for a larger distance buffer would be even larger, given the drought conditions of
86 2011. Model 3 therefore changes the distance buffer for the spatial autoregressive factor by moving the buffer from 5 miles out to 7 miles. Model 3 again shows a significant negative effect of pivots out to 0.75 miles on changes i n water levels, but this variable is the only one with a significant coefficient. Thus for every additional pivot out to 0.75 miles from a well, there was a 0.164 foot change in water levels. The coefficient for spatial autocorrelation among wells in Mode l 3 is much smaller than in Models 1 and 2, and was insignificant. Model 3 thus indicates that the spatial process among wells extended out to 5 miles but not 7 miles, even under the drought conditions of 2011. Consequently, Model 3 is weaker than Models 1 or 2 in Table 4 9 . Model 4 replaces the number of pivots out to 0.75 miles with the area irrigated by pivots in the same distance buffer. The results are basically the same as in Model 3: pivots out to 0.75 miles have a significant negative effect, but w ells out to 7 miles did not. Thus, for every additional pivot out to 0.75 miles, there was a 0.004 foot change in water levels. Model 5 again modifies the distance buffer of the spatial autocorrelation factor by shifting it out to 9 miles. Model 5 shows that the number of pivots is still significant, whereas the effect of the spatial autocorrelation out to 9 miles is even weaker than for 7 miles, as the coefficient is now near zero. Hence as we expand the distance buffer from 5 t o7 to 9 miles, the coeffi cient drops from roughly 0.5 to 0.2 to 0.0. Model thus confirms that a shorter distance buffer for the spatial autoregressive factor around 5 miles appears a better specification than longer distances. This also confirms that water usage from one well affects water availability from others, but that the distance out to which this effect occurs is limited, even in a drought year. The effect of pivots on change in water levels in Model 5 is roughly the same as seen in Models 1 and 3. For every additional pivot out to 0.75 miles, there was a 0.158 foot decrease. This finding is
87 very similar to the other coefficients for number of pivots out to 0. 75 miles from wells in Table 4 9 . M odel 6 replaces the number of pivots with acreage irrigated by pivots out t o 0.75 miles. Latitude now becomes significant, as is acreage irrigated, but the spatial autocorrelation factor out to 9 miles remains insignificant. For every degree increase in latitude (i.e. as one moves north), there was an 8.040 foot change in water l evels. The effect of irrigation in Model 6 is the same as that see n in Models 2 and 4 in Table 4 9 . Model 6 thus confirms that irrigation had a larger effect on change in water levels from 2011 to 2012 during the drought than during the previous growing se ason. Table 4 9 shows that pivots out to 0.75 miles and other wells out to 5 miles have significant effects on change in water levels during 2011 2012. Regardless of the indicator used for pivots (number of pivots or irrigation), greater agricultural ac tivity in 2011 yielded significant declines in water levels in wells from 2011 to 2012. Regardless of the specification of spatial autocorrelation , across all models in Table 4 9 , pivots out to 0.75 miles are found to be significant for declines in water l evels. Compared to the weake r effects of pivots in Table 4 7 and 4 8 , it is necessary to expand the distance buffer for pivots to adequately capture their effects on wate r levels. By contrast, Table 4 9 consistently showed that the shortest distance buffer for wells, out to 5 miles, was the best specification to account for spatial autocorrelation. Despite the serious drought conditions, water declines at one well had significant effects on wells out to 5 miles away. In the context of open access, this is a n important finding as typical renditions of the problem of open access tend to regard accessibility to natural resources as being equal across the span of a resource. At least for the case of water from the Ogallala Aquifer in Dawson County
88 during a serio us drought, declines in water levels in wells largely affected nearby wells but not distant wells. Change in Water Levels, 2011 2012: 1.0 Mile Pivot Buffer I conclude the analysis in this chapter by considering the 1.0 mile distance buffer for pivots and the effects on changes in water levels from 2011 to 2012. Given the emergence of stronger and significant effects of pivots out to 0.75 miles on changes in water levels, it is possible that further extending the distance buffer out to 1.0 miles will yield yet stronger effects. This permits comparisons with the previous tables for 2011 2012, as well as to the equivalent models with 1.0 mile pivot buffers for 2010 2011. T able 4 10 represents one last group of 6 regression models, organized as in the previous tables. The findings differ in interesting respects from those of previous tables for 2011 2012 changes in water levels. Model 1 is statistically significant, with an R 2 larger than any previous model. However, only number of pivots out to 1 mile from a w ell was statistically significant. For every additional pivot out to 1 mile, there was a 0.137 foot change in water levels. While the coefficient for pivots out to 1 mile in Model 1 is slightly lower than the coefficient for pivots out to 0. 75 miles in Mo del 1 in Table 4 9 , the two models are both similarly strong. This suggests that the appropriate specification for pivot buffers in 2011 2012 was somewhere between 0.75 and 1.0 miles. Interestingly, the spatial autocorrelation factor exhibits a large coeff icient but was not statistically significant. Model 2 replaces the number of pivots with the acreage irrigated for pivots out to 1 mile from wells. The area irrigated out to 1 mile is statistically significant, though the coefficient is slightly smaller th an when the area irrigated was out to 0.75 miles fr om wells in Model 2 of Table 4 9 . Thus for every additional acre irrigated, there was a 0.003 foot change in water
89 levels. The coefficient for spatial autocorrelation among wells out to 5 miles is not qu ite statistically significant in Model 2. M odels 3 and 4 repeat the exercise for the spatial autocorrelation factor set to the 7 mile distance buffer. Model 3 is stronger, and latitude and the number of pivots are significant. For every degree increase in latitude as one goes north, there is a 7.565 foot change in water levels. With regard to the 1 mile buffer for pivots, for every additional pivot, there is a 0.149 foot change in water level. Model 4 replaces the number of pivots with acreage irrigated, and here the findings change somewhat. Latitude is no longer significant. The effect of acreage irrigated in Model 4 is the same as in Model 2 in Table 4 10 : for every additional acre irrigated, there was a 0.003 foot change in water levels. Model 4 is ho wever weaker than Model 3. In both cases, the spatial autocorrelation coefficients are insignificant. This confirms the specification of well buffers out to 5 miles as the appropriate distance for capturing the spatial effects of water declines among wells . M odels 5 and 6 install the 9 mile buffer for the spatial autocorrelation measures. Model 5 again shows significant effects for latitude and pivots but no effect for spatial autocorrelation. Model 6 replaces the number of pivots out to 1 mile with area i rrigated out to 1 mile, and latitude and area irrigated are both significant, but not spatial autocorrelation. Again, Model 5 is stronger than Model 6, indicating that the number of pivots is a better explanatory variable than area irrigated. Overall, T able 4 10 indicates that the 1 mile distance buffer for pivots is also useful for modeling change in water levels in wells, as the results for the pivot variables are si milar to those seen in Table 4 9 for the 0.75 mile dista nce buffer for pivots. Table 4 10 confirms findings in Table 4 9 that the appropriate distance buffer for wells is 5 miles rather than 7 or 9 miles.
90 Overall, the models in Tab le 4 10 for change in water levels during 2011 to 2012 are stronger than their counterparts for 2010 2011, and c onfirm the importance of both pivots and other wells for understanding decreasing water availability in Dawson County. In sum, the findings from the models confirm the importance of agricultural land use and open access regimes for reductions in water lev els. Results for pivots show that irrigation for agriculture is related to declines in water levels; results for other wells indicated that declines in water levels in one location cause declines elsewhere, in line with Hardin (1968). At the same time, inc reases in scarcity defined in decreasing water levels were not universal, nor did water level declines in one location necessarily affect others. Conclusion Results from these analyses help demonstrate of how the coordinates of a well, the total number of pivots, total acres being irrigated, and buffer zones of wells influence the change in well levels for the years 2010 2011 and 2011 2012. Both years show tha t the buffer zone of the well greatly impacts the water levels of each well. In addition, the location of wells also impacts the change of water levels taking place within Dawson County. Wells that are found to be located North and East, explains why water levels in these areas are significantly higher, compared to other parts of Dawson County. These findings are the direct result of these wells being located on the boundary of the Ogallala Aquifer. As a result, moving in the opposite direction of these coo rdinates indicate and show a greater impact of the total number of pivots and acres that are being irrigated. Furthermore, these analyses have also addressed the issue of agricultural water usage . More pivots and (to a lesser extent) greater areas irriga ted often correspond to greater declines in water levels in wells . Interestingly, where effects appear, they provide evidence that the effects of pivots is roughly 0.75 or 1.0 miles. That is, when it appears, the effect of irrigation is
91 comparable at both pivot buffer distances, which suggests an asymptote around 0.75 miles in the effect of pivots on well levels. Once one moves beyond that point to 1.0 mile buffers, there is no additional increment in the effect of irrigation on change in water levels in a given well. This chapter took up the issue of rural agricultural water usage as evident in changes in water levels in agricultural wells in Dawson County. The analysis evaluated the spatial effects of agriculture under an open access regime for water usag e. While previous accounts of open access have tended to present resource usage in a single homogenous space, this analysis confirms that changes in water availability varied spatially. Further, the analysis indicated such changes corresponded to water usa ge via pivots and was spatially dependent, with wells exhibiting greater declines occurring near other wells with declines. Hence the spatial distribution of the resource in question and the distribution of users is important for understanding the spatial distribution of declines in resource availability. As a result, the multivariate analysis provided the explanation of why water levels are lower in some parts of the aquifer compared to others. Chapter 5 expand s on this analysis of the change s in water lev els in wells by considering both urban as well as rural wells that in turn permits an evaluation of rural and urban usage as evident in changes in water levels in rural and urban wells.
92 Table 4 3. OLS regression model s of the changes in water levels in monitoring levels, with a 0 .25 mile buffer for pivots , Dawson County, Texas, 2010 2011. Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Model 4 Model 5 Model 6 Coordinates Latitude 0.979 1.318 1.163 1.526 1.027 1.401 Longitude 3.277 3.477 4.083 4.303 3.593 3.872 #Total Pivots .25 Mile Buffer 0.137 0.157 0.143 Total Acres Irrigated .25 Mile Buffer 0.12 0.013 0.012 Water Changes 2010 2011 5 Mile Buffer 0.092 0.059 7 Mile Buffer 0.182 0.228 9 Mile Buffer 0.009 0.066 Model Fit F 1.235 1.587 1.268 1.684 1.199 1.577 R2 0.054 0.69 0.056 0.073 0.053 0.068 Notes: Significant Levels are at the: *P < .05 Values are shown in each cell are the Unstandardized Coefficients
93 Tabl e 4 4 . OLS regression model s of the change s in water levels in monitoring levels , with a 0 .5 mile buffer for pivots, Dawson County, Texas, 2010 2011. Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Model 4 Model 5 Model 6 Coordinates Latitude 1.698 1. 489 1 .984 1. 742 1 .814 1.583 Longitude 3.258 3.292 4.090 4.128 3.670 3.680 #Total Pivots .5 Mile Buffer 0.140 0.158 0.147 Total Acres Irrigated . 5 Mile Buffer 0.004 0.004 0.004 Water Changes 2010 2011 5 Mile Buffer 0.038 0.059 7 Mile Buffer 0.276 0.242 9 Mile Buffer 0.109 0.067 Model Fit F 1.749 1.566 1.906 1.675 1.758 1.556 R2 0.147 0.191 0.117 0.163 0.145 0.193 Notes: Significant Levels are at the: *P < .05 Values are shown in each cell are the Unstandardized Coefficients
94 Table 4 5 . OLS of a regression model s of the change s in water levels in monitoring levels , with a 0.7 5 mile buffer for pivots , Dawson County, Texas , 2010 2011. Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Model 4 Model 5 Model 6 Coordinates Latitude 2.550 1.985 2.937 2.326 2.811 2.122 Longitude 3.566 3.413 4.418* 4.259 4.230 3.836 #Total Pivots .7 5 Mile Buffer 0. 121* 0.133* 0.129* Total Acres Irrigated .75 Mile Buffer 0.002 0.003* 0.003 Water Changes 2010 2011 5 Mile Buffer 0.067 0.0 05 7 Mile Buffer 0.430 0. 326 9 Mile Buffer 0.357 0.158 Model Fit F 2.868* 1.970 3.271* 2.198 3.011* 2.001 R2 0. 118 0. 084 0.132 0.093 0.123 0.85 Notes: Significant Levels are at the: *P < .05 Values are shown in each cell are the Unstandardized Coefficients
95 Table 4 6 . OLS of a regression models of the change s in water levels in monitoring levels , with a 1.0 mile buffer for pivots , Dawson County, Texas, 2010 2011. Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Model 4 Model 5 Model 6 Coordinates Latitude 2.144 2.372 2.464 2.780 2.328 2.577 Longitude 3.462 3.511 4.281* 4.348* 4.011 4.029 #Total Pivots 1.0 Mile Buffer 0. 072* 0.079* 0.075* Total Acres Irrigated 1.0 Mile Buffer 0.002* 0.002* 0.002* Water Changes 2010 2011 5 Mile Buffer 0.052 0.042 7 Mile Buffer 0.396 0. 393 9 Mile Buffer 0.290 0.264 Model Fit F 2.744* 2.258 3.092* 2.583* 2.841* 2.336 R2 0. 113 0. 095 0.126 0.107 0.117 0.098 Notes: Significant Levels are at the: *P < .05 Values are shown in each cell are the Unstandardized Coefficients
96 Table 4 7 . OLS of a regression models of the change s in water levels in monitoring levels , with a 0.2 5 mile buffer for pivots , Dawson County, Texas, 2011 2012 . Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Model 4 Model 5 Model 6 Coordinates Latitude 4.494 4.256 5.766 5.437 6.664 6.308 Longitude 0.589 1.055 1.316 1.797 2.145 2.632 #Total Pivots .25 Mile Buffer 0. 382 0.378 0.368 Total Acres Irrigated .25 Mile Buffer 0.018 0.017 0.016 Water Changes 2011 2012 5 Mile Buffer 0.571* 0.593* 7 Mile Buffer 0.237 0.261 9 Mile Buffer 0.085 0.062 Model Fit F 2.350 2.273 1.189 1.053 1.095 0.937 R2 0. 099 0. 096 0.052 0.047 0.048 0.042 Notes: Significant Levels are at the: *P < .05 Values are shown in each cell are the Unstandardized Coefficients
97 Table 4 8 . OLS of a regression models of the change s in water levels in monitoring levels , with a 0. 5 mile buffer for pivots, Dawson County, Texas, 2011 2012 . Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Model 4 Model 5 Model 6 Coordinates Latitude 3.925 4.910 5.243 6.251 6.029 7.197 Longitude 1.108 0.737 1.758 1.466 2.568 2.299 #Total Pivots .5 Mile Buffer 0. 104 0.113 0.101 Total Acres Irrigated .5 Mile Buffer 0.007 0.007 0.007 Water Changes 2011 2012 5 Mile Buffer 0.563* 0.558* 7 Mile Buffer 0.244 0.216 9 Mile Buffer 0.060 0.119 Model Fit F 1.899 2.442 0.815 1.307 0.715 1.235 R2 0. 081 0. 102 0.037 0.057 0.032 0.054 Notes: Significant Levels are at the: *P < .05 Values are shown in each cell are the Unstandardized Coefficients
98 Table 4 9 . OLS of a regression models of the change s in water levels in monitoring levels , with a 0.7 5 mile buffer for pivots, Dawson County, Texas, 2011 2012 . Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Model 4 Model 5 Model 6 Coordinates Latitude 5.692 5.750 6.901 7.130 7.671 8.040* Longitude 0.739 0.706 1.198 1.314 1.940 2.112 #Total Pivots .75 Mile Buffer 0. 153* 0.164* 0.158* Total Acres Irrigated .75 Mile Buffer 0.004* 0.004* 0.004* Water Changes 2011 2012 5 Mile Buffer 0.544* 0.526* 7 Mile Buffer 0.292 0.215 9 Mile Buffer 0.013 0.105 Model Fit F 2.964* 2.886* 1.915 1.850 1.753 1.772 R2 0. 121 0. 118 0.082 0.079 0.075 0.076 Notes: Significant Levels are at the: *P < .05 Values are shown in each cell are the Unstandardized Coefficients
99 Table 4 10 . OLS of a regression models of the changes in water levels in monitoring levels, with a 1.0 mile buffer for pivots, Dawson County, Texas, 2002 2012 . Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Model 4 Model 5 Model 6 Coordinates Latitude 6.516 6.154 7.565* 7.542 8.278* 8.429* Longitude 0.411 0.685 0.653 1.233 1.277 2.016 #Total Pivots 1.0 Mile Buffer 0.137* 0.149* 0.147* Total Acres Irrigated 1.0 Mile Buffer 0.003* 0.003* 0.003* Water Changes 2011 2012 5 Mile Buffer 0.468* 0.513* 7 Mile Buffer 0.286 0.220 9 Mile Buffer 0.052 0.093 Model Fit F 4.419* 3.018* 3.594* 2.033 3.417* 1.948 R2 0.170 0.123 0.143 0.086 0.137 0.0b6 Notes: Significant Levels are at the: *P < .05 Values are shown in each cell are the Unstandardized Coefficients
100 Figure 4 1. Water Well Declines for Dawson County 2002 2012. Maps and files created by Robert Lee Cavazos. Data provided from the MUWCD.
101 Figure 4 2. Water Well Declines for Dawson County 2002 2012: Dawson Impact Area . Maps and files created by Robert Lee Cavazos. Data provided from the MUWCD.
102 CHAPTER 5 A COMPARISON OF URBAN AND RURAL WATER LEVELS IN WELLS IN THE SOUTH PLAINS OF NORTH TEXAS: THE CAS E OF LUBBOCK The previous chapter focused on water levels in rural areas with varying amounts of agricultural land use via pivot irrigation in Dawson County, Texas. The results were strong for the relationship between agricultural land use and water levels in monitoring wells. That analysis however stops short of fully considering the potential importance of water levels in urban wells. This chapter therefore expands on the quantitative analysis of water usage by comparatively evaluating water levels in bot h rural and urban wells, to see if water levels are declining faster in one type of location or the other. As was highlighted in chapter 2, there are multiple user groups of water from the Ogallala Aquifer in the South Plains of North Texas: not only is ag riculture expanding, but urban populations are also growing rapidly. This raises questions about the relative importance of these two key user groups for declines in well levels where both agriculture and urban growth are occurring. This chapter contribu tes to the literature on institutions and resource management by considering different user groups in this instance, rural and urban populations for the case of water. Hardin (1968) and other accounts have tended to assume single user groups of natural resources in open access situations, and this chapter explicitly recognizes that there are often very different groups at play in resource use. Indeed, distinct user groups are highlighted in the political ecology literature where conflicts among resource users is often featured. This chapter therefore bridges the open access and resource conflict literatures by considering multiple user groups. In the process, this chapter sets the stage for the next chapter, which focuses more squarely on issues of resou rce scarcity and conflict as they relate to water politics. This chapter proceeds as follows. I first discuss the city of Lubbock and its growing population and thus demand for water. I situate Lubbock in the broader region of the South
103 Plains of North Te xas. I then note the data sources, notably the delineation of rural and urban areas in Lubbock County, which is key to differentiating wells serving agricultural (in rural areas) and wells serving urban populations (in the Lubbock incorporated area). The a nalysis involves comparisons of average annual changes in water levels in wells in rural and urban areas of Lubbock County. I compare average changes in water levels in rural and urban wells in Lubbock County from 2002 to 2012, noting where differences are statistically significant. The analysis shows whether declines in water levels are greater in rural or urban wells, and the conclusions discuss the implications of the findings. Lubbock County: Historical Review and Delineation of Rural and Urban Wells Pr , many farmers in the South Plains area were dependent on dry land farming, meaning there was no irrigation or wells to water their crops. Farmers depended on seasonal rains to maintain crops. The region would become so dry, that it was gi ven the name of in this area for decades. The Dust Bowl was caused by severe droughts, since many parts of the region did not receive sustainable amounts of rainfa ll; the area became dependent upon the Ogallala Aquifer. Once irrigation became technologically and economically viable after the , the Ogallala Aquifer turned the south plains region into a vast green vegetation. New irrigation technologies made the south plains one of the largest and most productive farmlands in (Opie J. , 2000, p. 5) and in return has made the city economic ally dependen t on a griculture (Texas Agricultural Statistics Service, 1997). Lubbock County is considered to be the king in cotton production for the entire state of Texas. A s a result , Lubbock is heavily dependent on the Ogallala Aquifer for irrigation purposes. Indeed, with irrigation, farmers around Lubbock have been able to grow one of the most water -
104 intensive crops in a semi arid region. Nonetheless, dependence on the Ogallala constitutes significant risk due to unsustainable use. light drought conditions, cotton watered by rain alone will barely produce; under moderate to heavy drought, it will die. To make it through the dry years , farmers in the cotton desert have come to depend on p. 180 181). While Lubbock is an important agricultural area, it is also home to significant urban growth and thus urban water demand. The city of Lubbock is the largest city in the south plains and according the 2013 census estimate, its current populati on of 239,538 make s it the 11 th most populous city in the state of Texas ( US Bureau of the Census 2010). With a steady increase in urban population , city officials have had to look into other sources of water (Postel, 2002). According to WC and the general manager of HPWD, t he city bought water rights to Lake Allen Henry and Lake Meredith in order to meet urban water demand. However, d ue to excessive droughts and rapid growth in population, Lake Allen Henry and Lake Meredith have nearly g one dry. Consequently, the City of Lubbock faces a situation of water scarcity. Other water alternatives need to be looked into. Lubbock County cannot continue to compete with its agriculture and urban growth. The city of Lubbock might be able to fight off the wa ter crisis for a couple of years, as city officials were able to buy water rights in Bailey County in order to themselves in direct competition with the city of Lubbo ck and remain dependent on local wells located in Lubbock County. Data Sources and Methods The analysis in this chapter takes up the question of changes in water levels in rural and urban wells in Lubbock County. Data comes from the HPWD and refer to mo nitoring wells in
105 Lubbock County . As before, monitoring wells provide consistent data for water levels over time. And as in Dawson County, monitoring wells in Lubbock County have a broad spatial distribution, thus providing a reasonably representative geog raphic sample. Lubbock County has 94 monitoring wells in total. Figure 5 2 shows the spatial distribution of monitoring wells around Lubbock County. The analysis here again covers the years 2002 2012. These years are useful for present purposes, since it w as not only a time of rapid agricultural expansion but also urban population growth in Lubbock County. Data for each year thus permits assessments of changes in water levels in wells from one year to the next over this time period. I used the information from the HPWD to measure water levels in Lubbock County the same way as was conducted in Dawson County. Specifically, I observe water levels in wells as measured in feet below the surface, and I measure changes in water levels by comparing values for one year (taken in January) to the next year (12 months later). By examining the change of water levels from year to year, we can detect changes in water levels. Key to this analysis is the differentiation of rural and urban wells. In order to compare rural a nd urban wells, there must be a clear and reasonable basis for distinguishing rural and urban areas. By differentiating the rural from the urban, I am setting up a comparison to evaluate well levels in rural areas among agricultural landholders with regard to well levels in cities where urban residents live. Hence I equate the rural with agricultural water usage and the urban with high density residential water usage. To differentiate the rural and urban, I consulted several maps of Lubbock County to ident ify urban service boundaries for the Lubbock incorporated area . 4 This provided a clear 4 (City Data: http://www.city data.com/city/Lubbock Texas.html ).
106 delineation of the rural and urban areas of Lubbock County based on conventions that can be applied in other counties for similar analyses, whether in North Texas or els ewhere. This definition of the rural and the urban in turn permitted identification of rural and urban wells in Lubbock County. I used geographic coverage of the urban service boundary for Lubbock County to identify urban wells as those falling inside th e boundary and rural wells as those falling outside the boundary. The result is that of the 94 monitoring wells in Lubbock County, 23 are in urban areas and 71 are in rural areas. While these definitions are not perfect, they do provide a clear basis for delineating rural and urban wells. Using this or most any other definition, one finds some wells near the rural urban boundary, which can affect calculations of averages and thus the size of group differences. However, as map 5 1 shows, most rural wells ar e not close to the urban service boundary, and most urban wells are rather centrally located in Lubbock itself. Another issue is the relatively large number of rural wells as compared to urban wells. One might reduce the number of rural wells included in t he analysis to permit more equivalent group sizes, but the geographic area selected, a county, is clear, and excluding data reduces statistical power of the comparisons. The analysis of the resulting data involves comparisons of changes in water levels in rural and urban wells among every pair of consecutive years from 2002 to 2012 in Lubbock County, as well as overall changes in water levels in wells for the period. This permits evaluation of the temporal dynamics over time, notably in relatively wet and d ry years. I present descriptive statistics in the form of group means along with standard deviations for rural and urban wells in each pair of years, along with inferential statistical tests (F test) to evaluate statistical significance of the group differ ences.
107 Changes in Water Levels in Wells in Lubbock County Table 5 1 presents the findings for changes in water levels among all wells in Lubbock County from 2002 to 2012. This permits an initial analysis of change dynamics in Lubbock over time. Overall, av erage water levels in wells around Lubbock County declined over 4 feet from 2002 to 2012. This raises the question of whether the decline occurred steadily over time or in particular years. This also raises the question of whether declines varied spatial a cross Lubbock County, particularly between rural and urban areas. Table 5 1. Well Level Changes (Ft.) Lubbock County 2002 2012 . Years Average Change Standard Deviation 2002 2003 0.9530 1. 8958 2003 2004 0.3698 1.6 471 2004 2005 0.7648 1.8 255 2005 2006 0.1422 1.4 291 2006 2007 1.4437 1. 7478 200 7 200 8 0. 815 5 1.14 39 200 8 20 09 0.8155 1.27 13 20 09 201 0 201 0 201 1 2011 2012 0 1.5381 0.6014 1.9786 1.4 285 1.2517 1.9982 2002 2012 4. 2624 5.9373 Table 5 1 shows that water levels in monitoring wells have largely declined from 2002 to 2012. It is noteworthy that some years actually show rises in average well levels; it is also noteworthy that in each year, there is considerable variation in changes in well levels. But overall, in 8 out of the 11 periods observed, there were on average declines in water levels. As with Dawson County, Lubbock County saw its biggest decline in water levels from 2011 2012. The 2011 growing season was a year of record dro ught in the South Plains, including in North
108 Texas, so it is not surprising to see a relatively large decline in water levels in wells for that period. Given the broad spatial distribution of the monitoring wells around Lubbock County, it is useful to map changes in water levels of wells. This permits a first glance at the spatial distribution of changes in well levels among urban and rural wells. Figure 5 2 presents the thematic map of the changes in water levels from 2002 to 2012 among rural and urban mo nitoring wells for Lubbock County. Once more I use the distribution of colors to indicate overall net changes for monitoring water well levels form 2002 2012, with cooler colors (blue) to indicate rises in water levels, and warmer colors (yellow, orange, a nd red) to indicate declines in water levels. Figure 5 2 shows a distinct distribution pattern, with rising well levels towards the west and southern parts of the city, and declines in the middle, north and eastern part of the county. According to a local urban land developer, the southwestern part of the city is very rural but growth and expansion is taking place, this might explain why water levels seem to be the highest here compared to other parts of the city, which then relates rural and urban usage t o water level changes. More generally, Figure 5 2 suggests that there are spatial processes affecting changes in water levels of wells across Lubbock County. As I found in chapter 4, large declines in water levels of a given well tend to occur where other wells also exhibit large declines in water levels. This is especially the case among the cluster of urban wells with smaller declines in water levels, and among rural wells outside the urban service boundary in Lubbock County, which seem to show larger dec lines. While suggestive, Figure 5 2 points to the importance of location type and spatial processes in Lubbock County, as was seen in the analysis of Dawson County in Chapter 4.
109 Comparative Analysis of Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells in L ubbock County So far the analysis in this chapter has provided evidence of overall declines in water levels in monitoring wells across Lubbock County. The findings thus far suggest that water levels in the Ogallala Aquifer are declining in Lubbock County, of open access and unsustainable resource use. I have also provided suggestive information that there may be rural and urban differences in declines in water levels in the same wells. The map of changes in water levels in we lls suggests that there may be differences in the size of declines in water levels among rural and urban wells. This however requires more systematic quantitative analysis. The final part of the analysis therefore compares changes in water levels among ur ban and rural wells within Lubbock County. For every pair of consecutive years between 2002 and 2012, I compare average changes in water levels in rural and urban wells; I also compare changes in rural and urban wells for the period overall. To evaluate th e statistical significance of any differences observed in rural and urban wells, I use an F test. This permits assessment of whether differences among rural and urban wells are large compared to variation within each group of wells (Agresti and Finlay , 200 9). Statistically significant findings not only indicate that the groups are different, but also that findings for the monitoring wells are also likely to be true of the larger population of wells in Lubbock County. Change in Water Levels, 2002 2003 : Urban vs. Rural Wells Table s 5 2 presents the results of change in water levels in wells from 2002 2003 between urban and rural wells. T he decline was different between rural and urban wells. The findings show that the average change in water levels of u rban wells was a .065 f oo t decrease
110 compared to the 1.05 foot increase in water levels in rural wells. However, t he F test shows that these differences were not statistically significant (p<0.05). Table 5 2. Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2002 2003 . Urban Mean (SD) Rural Mean (SD) F Test p value Mean 0.6504 (1.8212 ) 1.0510 (1.9217 ) 0.774 0.381 Change in Water Levels, 2003 2004 : Urban vs. Rural Wells Tables 5 3 reveals the results of change in water levels in wells from 2003 2004 between urban and rural wells. During this year, average water levels declined. The decline was consistent between rural and urban wells. The findings show that the average change in water levels of urban wells was a .062 foot decrease compared to the 0.28 foot decrease in water levels in rural wells, but the F test shows that these differences are not stati stically significant (p<0.05). Table 5 3 . Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2003 2004 . Urban Mean (SD) Rural Mean (SD) F Test p value Mean 0.6265 (1.8320 ) 0.2866 (1.5878 ) 0.738 0.393 Change in Water Levels, 2004 2005 : Urban vs. Rural Wells Table 5 4 presents the results of change in water levels in wells from 2004 2005 between urban and rural wells. During that year, average water levels actually rose. However, the rise was very different betwe en rural and urban wells. The findings show that the average change in water levels of urban wells was a 2.040 foot increase compared to the 0.35 foot increase in water levels
111 in rural wells. The F test shows that these differences were statistically signi ficant (p>0.05). Hence during a year of rising water levels in wells, water levels rose significantly more among urban than rural wells. This implies greater recharge in urban areas than rural areas in Lubbock County. Table 5 4 . Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2004 2005 . Urban Mean (SD) Rural Mean (SD) F Test p value Mean 2.040 (1.8826) 0.3517 (1.6144) 17.494 0.000 Change in Water Levels, 2005 2006 : Urban vs. Rural Wells Table 5 5 discloses the findings of change in water levels in wells from 2005 2007 among urban and rural wells. During this year, average water levels once again declined. The decline was consistent between rural and urban wells. The findings show that the average change in water levels of urban wells was a .0.37 foot decrease compared to the 0.67 foot decrease in water levels in rural wells, but the F test shows that the differences are not statistically significant (p<0.05). Table 5 5 . Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wel ls Lubbock County, Texas, 2005 2006 . Urban Mean (SD) Rural Mean (SD) F Test p value Mean 0.3717 (1.4726 ) 0.679 (1.4173 ) 0.783 0.378
112 Change in Water Levels, 2006 2007 : Urban vs. Rural Wells Table 5 6 presents the results of change in water levels in wells from 2006 2007. The results illustrate that the average decline in wells overall the great est among rural wells at a 1.76 foot de crease compared to the 0.44 foot decrease in urban levels. Signifyin g rural wells have deeper decline s in water well changes. The F test shows that these differences were statistically significant (p>0.05). During a year of declining water levels in wells, water levels declined significantly more among rural than urban we lls. This implies water usage in rural areas is greater than urban areas in Lubbock County. Table 5 6. Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2006 2007 . Urban Mean (SD) Rural Mean (SD) F Test p value Mean 0.4443 (0.6363) 1.7675 (1.87) 11.029 0.001 Change in Water Levels, 2007 2008 : Urban vs. Rural Wells Table 5 7 discloses the outcomes of change in water levels in wells from 2005 2007 among urban and rural wells. Once more average water levels once again rose. The incline was suddenly different between rural and urban wells. The findings show that the average change in water levels of urban wells was a 0.99 foot increase compared to the 0.75 foot increase in water levels in rural wells, as a result the F test finds no statisti cally significance (p<0.05) , among urban and rural wells. Table 5 7. Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2007 2008. Urban Mean (SD) Rural Mean (SD) F Test p value Mean 0.9983 (1.2076) 0.7563 (1.125) 0.775 0.381
113 Change in Water Levels, 2008 2009: Urban vs. Rural Wells Table 5 8 displays the results of change in water levels in wells from 2008 2009. The outcomes reveal that the average decline in wells overall was once again the greatest among rural wells at a 0.32 foot decrease compared to the 0.92 foot increase in urban levels . This demonstrates that are greater declines taking place among average water level changes in rural wells compared to urban monitoring wells. The F test is once more found to be significant at the p < .05 level, which exhibits that the variables produce a statistically significant change among water well levels. The F test shows that these differences were statistically significant (p>0.05). Thus water levels declined significantly more among rural than urban wells. This implies there is less recharging taking place in rural areas than urban areas. Table 5 8. Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2008 2009. Urban Mean (SD) Rural Mean (SD) F Test p value Mean 0.9235 (0.8692 ) 0.3239 (1.2344 ) 20.172 0.000 Change in Water Levels, 2009 2010 : Urban vs. Rural Wells Table 5 9 exhibits the results of change in water levels in wells from 2009 2010 . The results illustrate that the average decline in wells overall was the greatest among rural wells at a 1.66 foot decrease compared to the 1.15 foot decrease in urban levels. Indicating rural wells have greater declines in water well changes. Consequ ently, the F test shows that these differences are not statistically significant (p>0.05).
114 Table 5 9 . Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2009 2010. Urban Mean (SD) Rural Mean (SD) F Test p value Mean 1.1587 (1.0152) 1.6610 (1.5247) 2.175 0.144 Change in Water Levels, 2010 201 1 : Urban vs. Rural Wells Table 5 10 displays the outcomes of change in water levels in wells from 2010 2011. Throughout this time period average water levels actually rose as they did in table 5 4. Conversely, the rise was very different between rural and urban wells. The findings reveal t hat the average change in water levels of urban wells was a 1.52 fo ot increase compared to the 0.30 foot increase in water levels in rural wells. Thus F test shows that these differences are statistically significant (p>0.05). D uring a year of rising water levels in wells, water levels rose significantly mor e among urban than rural wells, which implies greater recharge in urban areas than rural areas. Table 5 10 . Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2010 2011. Urban Mean (SD) Rural Mean (SD) F Test p value Mean 1.5287 (1.0398) 0.3010 (1.1695) 20.154 0.000 Change in Water Levels, 2011 2012: Urban vs. Rural Wells Table 5 11 discloses the outcomes of change in water levels in wells from 2011 2012 among urban and rural wells. Again showing a decline in average water levels. The de cline is different between rural and urban wells. The findings show that the average ch ange in water levels of urban wells was a 2.29 foot decrease compared to the 1.87 foot decrease in water
115 levels in rural wells, therefore the F test finds no statisti cally significance (p<0.05), among urban and rural wells Table 5 11. Changes in Water L evels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2011 2012. Urban Mean (SD) Rural Mean (SD) F Test p value Mean 2.2987 (1.6907) 1.8749 (2.0885) 0.779 0.380 Change in Water Levels, 2002 2012 : Urban vs. Rural Wells Table 5 12 reveals the results of change in water levels in wells from 2002 2012. The findings reveal that the overall average decline in wells is the greatest among rural wells at a 5.62 foot d ecrease compared to the 0.06 foot decrease found in urban levels, this demonstrates that average water level declines seem to be impacting rural areas more . The F test shows that these differences were statistically significant (p>0.05). During this ten year period, water levels declined significantly more among rural than urban wells, which implies greater average water level declines in rural areas than urban areas in Lubbock County. Table 5 12 . Changes in Water Levels in Rural and Urban Wells Lubbock County, Texas, 2002 2012. Urban Mean (SD) Rural Mean (SD) F Test p value Mean 0.06 (4.4903) 5.6238 (2.0885) 17.791 0.000 Conclusion This chapter pursued an analysis of changes in water level among rural and urban wells in Lubbock County in the South Plains of North Texas. The analysis thus differentiates among user groups, namely between agricultural producers in rural areas and urban residents in cities
116 and towns. This goes beyond most accounts in the open access literature but highlights the importance of different user groups as underscored in political ecology. I focused on the 2002 2012 period since that was a period of rapid agricultural as well as urban population expansion in Lubbock County. The first part of the analysis confirmed that water levels in wells overall declined during this period, by an average of roughly 4 feet. However, there was variation in changes in water levels among wells each year, and across years. While there were years when average well levels actually rose, in most years, there were declines, especially in drought years. The second part of the analysis compared changes in water levels in rural and urban wells for the same period in Lubbock County. I used the Lubbock city urban serv ice boundary to delineate rural and urban areas and calculated changes in water levels among wells inside and outside the urban service boundary to obtain rural and urban well data. The results consistently showed that rural wells had the larger declines ( or smaller increases) in water levels during the study period. While differences in changes in water levels between rural and urban wells were not always statistically significant, they were significant in several years, especially drought years of larger average declines in water levels, and overall for the 10 year period. The analysis in this chapter thus indicates that changes in water levels in urban wells exhibit relatively small declines compared to rural wells. Here it is important to point out that the city of Lubbock is not solely dependent on county wells for its water supply . The City of Lubbock also draws water from other sources outside the county. According to officials form the HPWD , the city of Lubbock has water companies which are responsib le for supplying water to the city of Lubbock. These companies include Lake Meredith and Lake Allan Henry. Furthermore, the City of Lubbock has bought thousands of acres in Bailey County in order to tap
117 into the Ogallala Aquifer in case if these industries begin to faulter. The use of the Ogallala as a supplement to the outside water sources . This likely explains the significant differences in changes in water levels between rural and urban wells. However, as noted, the external sou rces such as the lakes are themselves in decline, which means the city must continue to also rely on local water withdrawals. Of course, there are other factors to consider. The lack of significant differences in some years suggests that urban growth none theless burdens water provision to the city of Lubbock, which did exhibit declines in water levels over time. Further, the growth of the agricultural sector in North Texas generates substantial water demand in rural areas, and the larger differences in dro ught years suggest greater stress on the Ogallala due to more intense pumping in rural areas , which once again supports the theoretical approach of TOP within an open access regime . The findings from the rural urban comparisons indicate that both rural a nd urban areas exhibit declines in water levels of monitoring wells in Lubbock County. This bears the implication that there are indeed multiple user groups for the case of water from the Ogallala in Lubbock County, including agricultural producers and urb an. That the City of Lubbock relies to an extent on water from other sources suggests concern about water scarcity and a measure of unease about competition over local water sources. This raises issues of water usage, water scarcity and water politics. The next chapter therefore seeks to understand the different perspectives among farmers, stakeholders, etc. in order to see who accounts for greater water usage, water scarcity, and water regulation.
118 Figure 5 1. Lubbock Urban vs. Rural Wells. Maps and data files created by Robert Lee Cavazos. Data provided by the HPWD.
119 Figure 5 2. Water Well Declines for Lubbock County 2002 2012. Maps and data files created by Robert Lee Cavazos. Data provided by the HPWD.
120 CHAPTER 6 STAKEHOLDER PERSPECTIVES Previous steps in the analysis focused on a quantitative analysis of how water usage varies in Dawson and Lubbock counties among under an open access regime. Because a well established consequence of open access is resource scarcity, and because resource s carcity can cause resource conflicts, in this chapter I turn to the political questions of water scarcity in the South Plains of North Texas. I report qualitative findings from key stakeholder groups with regard to their perspectives on water usage, water scarcity, and regulation of resource use. I enter this part of the research seeking to understand stakeholder perspectives with regard to several key themes derived as a participant observer and from the literature review. As a result, there is a strong inductive element to this step in the research. While I went into the interview process with some expectations, my interviews also proved to be productive in generating new themes. The remainder of this chapter therefore pursues a discussion of how the re spondents view the politics of water surrounding the use of the Ogallala Aquifer in the South Plains area of North Texas. I organize the discussion around a suite of themes, some incorporated in the interviews from the outset of the fieldwork, but many whi ch arose in responses frequently given by interviewees. All themes discussed focus on issues pertaining to various aspects of water usage, water scarcity and the question of water regulation. The first theme concerns the issue of water usage. Given the lar ge and diverse range of stakeholders using water in North Texas, and the observation from previous chapters that water availability is in decline, the issue of who is responsible for water usage becomes important. This in turn raises issues of the subjecti vities among different stakeholders as they seek to justify their water usage and perhaps criticize that of others.
121 The second theme follows from the first, and focuses on the problem of water scarcity. If there is some level of recognition that water usa ge of the Ogallala Aquifer is not sustainable, there is also some degree of understanding that water scarcity is an emergent problem. I therefore provide respondent perspectives on the problem of water scarcity and how they understand scarcity in light of their interests and the cultural and economic history of North Texas. The third and final theme concerns the question of regulations on water usage. This dissertation began by highlighting the problems of open access and the eventualities of either meeting North Texas, I also gathered informant perspectives on the possible altern ative of regulation. For each of these three key themes, I pursue an interpretation arising from a combination of two analytical strategies, namely analytical induction that borrows from classical grounded theory, and theoretical deduction which invokes e xtant theories where they fit the perspectives offered by the informants. Analytical induction permits identification of additional themes related to my central themes, which in turn offers a means for interpretation of the perspectives provided by respond ents. As typically happens in active and other forms of open interviews, respondents in my sample emphasized themes which I did not initially anticipate as being significant. By contrast, recent grounded theory recognizes the value of theoretical deduction where warranted by the data obtained. In this chapter, I pursue theoretical deduction concerning the three main themes based on how respondent perspectives align with extant theory discussed earlier in this dissertation (in chapter 2). In particular, I lo oked for discourses that fit (or directly modernization, and social structure/ habitus.
122 Below I discuss the three main themes in order, beginning with water usage, then moving to water scarcity, and concluding with water regulation. For each, I provide respondent discourses via quotations along with interpretive discussion, whether by invoking analytical induction or theoretical deduction. I then conclude with an interpr etive discussion of the results of this chapter taken as a whole. Water Usage A key concept that developed out of the interview process was that farmers did believe they were in direct competition with their neighbor s. A ccording to F20: in the glass and it goes down quicker. I feel like I can see my wells go down or my pressure go down w hen the neighbors start up . The se observations expressed by F20 are supported by the TOP. As more farmers continue to increase their production in order to obtain their share of the Ogallala Aquifer, water well levels begin to decline. On a structural level, the expanding agricultural sector, driven by profitability in part enabled by free access to water, follows a self reinforcing process that accelerates water withdrawals. Only through the increase in production can farmers obtain economic gain, however as the increase in water usage is needed in order to obtain stability, it als o leads to growing competition among users of water from the Ogallala Aquifer. These observations are reinforced by F11: Do I like it when somebody drills a well next to me, no, I hate to see that. They are in there you can get it and it should be yours to get. There is no doubt about that. Part of me hates it when somebody pulls up over here, crosses a turn roll, scoots over 300 feet and drills a well and pumps out 800 gallons a minute while you are over there with a little bitty straw taking 30 gallons a minute. I had some neighbors last year that have good water and they g. They are probably mad at me what. If we could it would be an interesting battle after that. Who knows what it really is?
123 be fighting for the control over water. There are going to be wars fought over water. They are already happening but it is going to get worse as time goes on. I think you can agree with that. U nder a structure of open access, and in an agricultural sector where profit is the goal, there is intense competition for key resources such as water in order to ensure production continues. Great amounts of water usage are needed in order to maximize agri cultur al earnings and profitability . Only through vast amounts of irrigation is this made possible. Furthermore, t he se remarks of local farmers are also supported by the MP of the MWCD. When asked in his interview , c ould farmer A take water from my farmer B, if farmer A was to pump excessively: wells in and have them spaced from the property line.... every well in a sand formation is going to pull water from a cone of depre here is your water level right there so as soon as you turn that well on and you start sucking water, out of that well than the water that is right here is going to be pulled out so then you will be pulling done is that it is going to go out there about 300 feet, but if you have 300 ft. off of the property lin e right there and you have your neighbors well and its water level is at 100 ft., up this cone of depression that you pumped out. Your neighbor will continue to fill up and the same thing could come in from the other side of your well too. That is what causes and refilling that cone of depression from the water coming from somewhere e lse. This quote not only confirms some findings from previous chapters about the spatial processes of pumping from one well affecting water levels in another, it also confirms the statements above by farmers who see themselves necessarily in competition w ith their neighbors. Acc or ding to 184). Thus, the only way to increase economic gain is to increase water usage, which is why open access is favorable within the south plains. Open access allows farmers in irrigate 24 hours
124 a day, 7 days out of the week, 365 days out of the year. As a result, farmers are able to capitalize due to an open access regime and lack of regulations in place. Similar claims of TOP were als o experienced by F11 in which he stated: This brings us back to this question; if you have a farmer above you, is he competing for he is taking it. First I said there always is. These remarks expressed by F11 are vivid examples of TOP. However, some farmers blame other industries for low well levels. F2 blames the oil y use more water than anybody else when the r e indicate that farmers and other stakeholders see themselves as being in direct competition with one another. These claims are reinforced by the GM of HPUWD: There are Lubbock, basically Lubbock is the big one, so the small ones generally go out from town and get the next closest source they can find to the Ogallala and then they drill a well. Lubbock in Bailey County, they also have Lake Allen Henry coming on down the line and they are a part of Canadian River Municipal Water Authority. Amarillo, Lubbock and Plainview and eight other cities that had Lake Meredith; well even before Lake Meredith started declining they knew there would be times that they would need groundwater supplements so they started purchasing some ground water and as that lake kept lowering they kept b uying more culminating with last summer with CRMWA purchasing 250,000 acres of water right s from Boone Pickens . Regardless of the industry, farmers and other economic interests must irrigate intensively in order to maximize profits . And given open access to the Ogallala Aquifer in North Texas, a key task to maintain production is to irrigate with massive amounts of water. Driven by the profit farmers and citi es alike act i n their individual self interest. While this by itself is perhaps not surprising, the intriguing aspect of the perspectives just reported is that farmers and cities alike
125 seem to recognize that the logic of profit and open access mean very di fficult conditions of competition for water usage. This extends both Hardin (1968) and TOP (cf. Schnaiberg 1980) by highlighting the perspectives of the users involved in profit seeking activities under open access regimes. In particular, the findings repo rted here for water usage make clear that farmers and cities are well aware of the highly competitive circumstances in which they find themselves as a result of profit seeking and open access. Water Scarcity The classic consequence of open access to na tural resources is resource scarcity, so the second theme of the active interviews concerns perspectives on water scarcity among stakeholders using the Ogallala Aquifer in North Texas. One reason in which the Ogallala Aquifer cannot support agriculture lif e is because the majority of crops in the south plains are water intensive, even for the short period in which the wells are operational (WC). Secondly, the south plains has a very dry climate , so growing any crops require tons of water (Miller, Vandome, & McBrewster, 2009). With ranching and domestic use also in need of water, the Ogallala Aquifer cannot continue supply the demands of all its industries (Templer and Urban, 1996, and Ashworth, 2006). Third, the south plains are pro ne to severe droughts, whic h make the area very dependent on the Ogallala Aquifer. Thus, there are too many industries tapping into the Ogallala . As the WC expresses these concerns: agriculture on the Southern High Plains. There will always be some aquifer, that is the downwar are twice the height and they have a lot more energy in the system and you are carrying large boulders down to deposit. Over time as those mountains become deluded and eroded th ey are not as high and there is not as much energy in the system so you can only get finer and finer public particles coming down the deposit. Your biggest sediments like gravel and boulders are at the base and then it gets finer as you go up, you get your sands and silts. So, you have this most of the Ogallala Aquifer, particularly in the stream
126 channels, you have this really porous material and you are always going to have some water there but not enough to sustain it. You need a lot more to sustain the a griculture water. There are just too many underlying variables that are contributing to the demise of Ogallala and with no governance in place to limit the amount of water an individual is allowed to take out . As The larger context of this problem becomes evident if increases in pumping are paired with drought events. As m embers of the HP WD stated , We always think theoretically there will be enough water for humans and livestock. Our professional geoscientist did some calculations based on 2011 drought records. In 2010 we had an extraordinary amount of rainfall, the timings on those rains w ere very well placed for crop production. The next year it was a 180 degree difference, we had a record drought year. He calculated that if for some reason, worst case scenario type thing, if we had 10 of those in a row then the aquifer in our district wou ld be gone. It would not yield agricultural production or any major use like industries. These findings suggest that the water district managers increasingly see that the Ogallala is operating on borrowed time. Other water district managers recognize this problem: agriculture is their economic base , These remarks also raise the issue of the role of government in water management. Both of the foregoing statements by water district managers suggest that the state is hesitant to intervene. The state sees the economics of agriculture production in the south plains, which is why they have given local control of the Ogallala Aquifer to the farmers. These statements made are representative of social structure ; under conditions of o pen access and profitable agriculture, there are broad benefits of an expanding agricultural sector, which leads to scarcity but also constitutes interests that are difficult to contradict or change . The ph ysical interest and the
127 reshaping of underlying ma terial s and social processes supports the state agency and farmers (Harper, 2008) . But if water district managers see water scarcity, conservationists argues that farmers deny it. As the water conservationist (WC) noted, Wh en you hear farmers say there will always be water in the Ogallala Aquifer and it was always recharge, I know that is not necessarily true but is it just the mentality that people have that it will always be there because they have been pumping it for so l ong and they science will come along and fix it like they have gone and fixed everything else. The WC went on to state that the water districts in the south plains : Are very influential in the state because it is the largest groundwater conservati on district and because it also has a lot of political clout. The water districts purpose it to preserve and protect the Ogallala Aquifer but they are not doing that. They have known that since the inception that it was being depleted. They have tried to r everse that by education and improving irrigation techniques to make it more efficient but as they became more produce a higher yield of crops. It has never been man aged by improvements in agriculture; it has just continually been depleted. That is the way it is going and that is the way it will continue to go and now it is direr than it has ever been before. Pretty much in the first 50 years since agriculture and irr igation started on the Southern High Plains, putting their irrigation wells in on the Southern High Plains. Right now everyone says r in the last 50 years and now the stated management goals of the current High Plains Water District is to use up another 50% of what is left in the next 50 years. That is what they are saying. Their track record so far is not very good. For the conserva tionist, farmers put restraints on everyone else who do see nor do not favor their points of views of how the Ogallala Aquifer should be operated . In this instance, the conservationist invokes a social structural argument; since farmers have open access, t hey can use water; moreover, since farmers exercise considerable economic power, their views on water scarcity tend to dominate . This type of structural argument also resonates with the treadmill of production, since the economic importance of agriculture is held out as the trump card over state action . Nonetheless, according to the WC , th e days of an abundant water supply are gone:
128 connection with the farmers. Let me s ay one other thing about this, all of the management of them. Interviews with f armers tended to confirm the assertions of the water district managers and the water conservationist about farmer denial of water scarcity. This is one of the striking findings out of the interviews on the theme of water scarcity. The arguments of the Ogal lala Aquifer running out of water seem like a myth to many farmers . A s F1stated: The replenishing of it is all the rains and stuff from the north and the water runs to the mers 3 4 months away. F1 invokes multiple arguments to support a discourse of water replenishment instead of incremental water scarcity. The age of the aquifer, the seasonal use of water, and the flow of water thru the landscape are all cited as reasons why heavy water usage in the growing season will not result in aquifer depletion or water scarcity. In theoretical terms, these argument also stem from social structural arguments that water users have been using the Ogallala for some time and there is still water; hence the existing social structure is validated. Put in cultural term s, a social structure of irrigating with water from the Ogallala has become established. Not all stakeholders shared this view, and for precisely the same kinds of structural and cultural reasons. For example, t he president of the M WCD noted that regional social structure and culture themselves actually reflect past experiences of water scarcity. He describes a period in which wells of Dawson County went dry and all irrigation stopped. It was a period of the early 1970s, which was a period of transition. I ndeed, memories of that period also arose among some farmers. For example, F16 stated:
129 lot about that n formed, probably more urban people and lots of farms that have them! I know one of the biggest differences between the 1960s and now is they reached far as they can now. A lot of people now are reaching that bedrock and that bottom level. Key in this discourse by the far mer is the invocation of improved technology as a means of avoiding water scarcity. If pumps can reach farther down into the aquifer, water is in effect more available than before. Such notions stem from EMT insofar as improved technologies are held out a s means of managing resource scarcity. Along with the established habitus of drawing water from wells, the cultural rationale holds that improved technology provides an alternative avenue to the eventual tragedy of open access. Hence there is a cultural as sumption of improved technology as a means of supporting existing habitus. Pumping technology and t he habitus are prevalent i n the discourses of many farmers, as they believe rainwaters supply a su fficient amount of water to rec harge the aquifer . W hat suc h cultural logics fail to re cogn ize is that water levels in the aquifer are declining . This sits uncomfortably with other memories, such as the issue that some wells in Dawson County have more recently gone dry and are no longer operational. According to t he VP of the Dawson conservation district , many farmers will have to stop irrigating within the next five years because there is not enough water to be pump ed for irrigation purposes . Hence the cultural logics supporting farming whether supported by ecological modernization promised by improved pumping technology, the political economy of agricultural treadmills or out of social structure and habitus avoid confronting past history o f dry wells and emerging water scarcity even with
130 improved pumping technology. Indeed, the supposed alignment of improved technology via pumping and capitalist expansion treadmills is contrary to the antagonistic predictions by TOP and EMT about the effects of capitalism on the environment. The supposed alignment is putatively possible under an open access regime, but the physical outcome is likely to be that of P and habitus but not resource conservation as EMT supposes. All that said, there remains the question of other technologies that might actually reduce water consumption. Traditional irrigation relies on a sprinkler system (image 6 1). However, t echnique s such as drip irrigation (image 6 1) have been implemented to conserve water and to apply water where it is needed. This reduces the evaporation rate and places the water next to Hence whereas pivots with spri nklers are to some respondents a technological advance, such an advance increases water consumption; but in contrast, drip irrigation constitutes a technological advance that can reduce water consumption. The traditional irri gation system waste water and e vaporates before it ever reaches the crops, while the drip system could be place closer to the roots to save water, which supports EMT. Farmers also invoked the drip system as a technological advance in order to make the argument that water scarcity is no t increasing. However, they also acknowledged that the drip system is more expensive . A s result , farmers have been hesitate to make the switch over. Accordin g to F10: d and we parted ways a few years ago. I like the drip all right but the soil I have right now is too can only get it wet that close to the top. If it is all bowl sand on top of that you still have to fill both of them up. The tighter ground does a lot better. The drip thing, ideally if we
131 could have drip and sprinkler irrigation together. That way you could control the top and get a crop started. That is the hardest thing on drip is getting it germinated because you can only get it wet so close to the top. I had that one little spot of drip and I watered it 24/7 for a month just trying to get it. I had water pudding in the top of that bed but I could never get it any higher than that. That is the biggest problem. As the result farmers have turned away from the drip irrigation system , as it is more costly and more time consuming to water crops. In an open access regime , time and producti vity ar e critical. A sprinkler system is still more favorable among farmers, as it allows famers to obtain peak production . Thus again the discourses from farmers operating under an open access regime invokes issues highlighted by TOP rather than EMT even for the case of water saving technologies. At the same time, the concerns invoked about drip systems rests on the culture belief s that sprinkler irrigation is necessary and water scarcity is not the primary problem. F urthermore , these arguments support the habitus of farm ing with established sprinkler system s, despite the ramifications for water scarcity. Water Regulation Given the findings thus far, a key theme concerns regulation of water usage. There was consensus among respondents that under open acce ss, there is intense competition for water; but with regard to water scarcity, there were differing opinions. This might lead one to expect similarly varying discourses about water regulation. However, p articipants unanimously agreed that a governing body is not needed nor is one wanted . In particular, farmers refuse to accept a governing body telling them how to use the Ogallala Aquifer. Discourses on this question frequently invoked notions of private property rights to land. Many farmers believe that since they own the land , they should be the ones that determine how the water get used . According to F6: t need
132 further north in Lubbock and Plainview areas now, after a while i t is going to be how to farm or what to do with our water! Such arguments link pri vate property to land to open access to water, seamlessly overlooking the differences between the two. This is not only an ideal political economy for economic expansion per the TOP, it is also a structural argument closely related to habitus such that adv antageous existing arrangements should be maintained. This advance also helps explain why farmers refused to acknowledge data from thematic maps showing water level declines of the Ogallala Aquifer. Their ability to disregard information has allowed for th em to irrigate their crops willingly. Only through an open access regime is this made possible, where farmers are able to take for a granted a limited resource. These comments made by F6 also make a cultural argument that outsiders will never understand f arming. To farm is to survive, to live off the land . Farming is thus a distinct culture, with values that are passed down from generation to generation, along with key principles that are passed along the way. As more population has moved off the land and into cities, f a rming has become a culture that is only experienced by a select few . Discourses against external regulation thus become discourses in resolute defense of a dying but necessary walk of life against a misunderstanding urban majority. Farmers also expressed fear about losing their water rights as they are related to the farming culture as a way of life. The following exchange with F20 outlines this concern : F20: think the state should control your area, you should be allowed some say in it. Everybody and every area is different.
133 Question: In terms of the irrigation itself, do you feel like the rule of capture that we have F20 : I feel th at way too. I own the property. Question: You just got lucky that the water is underneath there right? F20: er and we sho uld be able to do what we want to. I feel like in the years to come it will probably be taken away. Hence access to land is equated with free access to water and the two together constitute a set of rights necessary for farming as a way of l ife that should be valued and not imposed on thru regulation. The water conservationist (WC) that I interviewed also spoke of these testimonials against water control . She indicated that she had one time worked with the local conservation district on the h i n which farmers serve on the conservation board, thus creating the rules and regulations that favor the farmer and other landowner s that own ed well s . Indeed, the presiden t of the conservation district of Dawson County agrees with the local farmers. He believes that the district is there to help the farmers, not to place rules and regulations on them (TWCD, 2008). He went on to say that: What we have in Texas is called th e rule of capture. These local board members who are elected by the local constituents, they make the rules. The rule of capture means basically no rules. You just do whatever you want to do. If it affects your neighbor then that is tough luck. Any time yo u have a groundwater conservation district which is created by the people, well through the legislature and in most cases is going to be a taxing entity, to tax oursel the district should be such that owner of the land also owns his water and can do a reasonable amount use of that.
134 These exact same arguments were made by the general manager and education group supervisor of the HPWD , in which they believed the rule of capture was the ideal way to monitor the Ogallala Aquifer. They go on to state that: In state of Texas, no matter what aquifer it is, you have the rule of capture. If you were would stretch right down the side here to almost Midland Odessa. That is the O gallala and all of that is under the rule of capture. Every aquifer in Texas is as well. The rule in Texas is the rule of capture. Now, it has been amended and affected by the establishment of groundwater conservation districts. What the old standby rule o f capture said was that you may pump the water from beneath your land if it is not wasted and if it is for beneficial use. You have the right to do that unless you are in a groundwater conservation district and regulated by it instead. The rule of capture in later years had the right of regulation in it. In the last session, Senate bill 332 came along and that was quite the piece of legislation. There had been efforts for many sessions of the legislature to do something to the rule of capture; change it, am end i t, tweak it, talk it, whatever. Most times it was just talked about and then it died. Senate bill 332 was passed and signed by the governor and it does not do away with the rule of capture. It basically says what the rule of capture said but it clearl y defines that a property owner has an ownership interest in the groundwater beneath the service of their land and with that ownership interest they have the right to produce below the surface of their land. It also says though again it is subject to the r beneficial use and not used to harm someone else and as long as it meets the rules and r egulations of the groundwater district, then you have the right to capture that water. You have the right to lease it, the right to sever it from the land. Hence the cultural discourses adopted by farmers parallel the political arguments invoked by the co nservationist and are confirmed by the supportive legalistic arguments by the water district managers themselves. The rule of capture institutionalizes open access in support of farmers with the blessing of government and thus constitutes an integrated soc ial structure as regards water usage. Crucially, this social structure is designed to provide against not for water regulation. That said, some farmers also recognized the potential danger that government in the form of water conservation districts could be turned from supporting open access to supporting regulated access. F armers such as F6 are wary of the conservation district s w ithin their own region : as long as MP works with us and we keep the farmers on the board and they keep
135 going to Austin and fighting then all is well. This nonetheless reveals a broader political economy where conservation districts have to send represe ntatives to the state government to ensure that local priorities are upheld. T his creates a situation in which a select few are the decision makers on how the production of the Ogallala Aquifer gets managed. The concentration of decision making power is a lso a characteristic of the treadmill of production account ( Gould, Pellow, & Schnai l berg 2004) . These authors note people thought about not only the environment but also the behaviors of their social institutions, affectin WC similarly agrees, albeit from a critical per spective, by stating: The producers on the Southern High Plains are in business and the state does not even money from the Southern High Plains from the agriculture indust ry . . . If you go into the meeting room at the High Plains Water District and you look around you will see pictures of all of the Board Members on the wall for the last 50 years. Everyone is a white male farmer/producer. The political economy on a macro scale is complemented by a micro scale ethic of ownership as a means of control. Most participants believe since the aquifer runs through their land they should be the ones that decide how that water gets managed and used. As F2 stated : When you buy a truck, do you share that truck with everyone on your block? No you if someone said that you had to share your truck and if you this water on my property that I should be told on how to use it? These a beer in my cooler should it T hese statements were shocking to hear because they reveal how strongly farmers
136 opposed outsiders and how they refused to be reprimanded for the mismanagement of the Ogallala Aquifer. Even with their wells going dry, many farmers refused to listen. The current social structure that is in place is so prominent that they refuse to acknowledge that the regulation of the Ogallala Aquifer is needed in order to maintain its usage as a viable water source for the south plains of northern Texas . While drought is part of the blame, the majority of the liability is a direct result of the Ogallala being mismanaged and being in complete denial of the ongoing problems surrounding the Ogallala Aquifer (WC). Conclusion The fin dings with regard to discourses of stakeholders about water usage, water scarcity and water regulation included some surprises but also corresponded to expectations from various theoretical frameworks. In regards to water usage, landowners feel as if they are in direct competition with their fellow neighbor. While there is enough water in the Ogallala to support water usage for agriculture or ranching, or domestic use, there is not enough water for agriculture, ranching and domestic use (Ashworth, 2006 ). Th ese statements support the theoretical concept of TOP. All industries are in competition with each other for water, and the only way to manage water is to aggressively pump it out of the Ogallala Aquifer. Only by irrigating vigorously can production be mai ntain ed . Several farmers made accounts in which they believed they were in direct competition with their fellow neighbor, as a result they acted irrational by excessively pumping in order to get ahead. As F20 reiterated , there are just too many straws in t he glass , and regardless of the amount of straws that are continually being added, people are unwilling to stop their misuse because they feel what they are doing is too important to stop. The Texas law of open access has allow ed for TOP to become detrimen tal to the Ogallala Aquifer of the south plains of northern Texas by permitting rapid water usage to support profitable agriculture . But all stakeholders also understood that under open access, water
137 usage implies setting farmers ag ainst farmers, farmers a gainst other stakeholders, farmers against urban communit ies , and (potentially) fa r mers against state agencies. The discussion of water scarcity led to additional themes arising. One concerned the issue of technological improvements, much along the lines of EMT. But as water conservation district managers acknowledged, technological improvements such as better pumps increased water usage. Further, water saving systems such as drip irrigation were seen as expensive and less profitable by farmers. T hus the p romise of ecological modernization by embrac ing drip irrigation has not occurred among farmers and conservation districts across the south plains. An o pen access regime makes EMT more difficult to implement , due to the fact that open access promotes consum ption, which instead favors growth as underscored by TOP. The in ability for EMT to become relevant in North Texas depends on the laws that are currently in place , such as the rule of capture . According to Solotaroff (2014), under the rule of capture law brokers can sell water from surrounding regions to the booming metros, draining the reserves of smaller communities, any of which are already in dire straights. This summer (2014) Thus under open access, e conomic growth and the environment are fundamentally incompatible. However, some of the stakeholders interviewed we re starting to realize that scarcity is becoming a major threat across the south plains . As WC noted, thinned or tapped out These statements indicate that scarcity is coming to the forefront.
138 But while some stakeholders recognize the scarcity, others, notably farmers, continue to deny that such scarcity ex ists. Farmers invoked an array of different types of economic, structural and cultural arguments in their discourses to justify their rights to water by denying that water scarcity is increasing. While the invocation of property rights and the culture of farming were not anticipated in the theoretical discussion earlier, multiple theoretical proved relevant for understanding farmer perspectives in denying water scarcity. Farmer discourses denying scarcity as well as defying regulation both invoked cultural arguments. Their culture belief is that the Ogallala is an unlimited supply of fresh water, which stems from the successful recent history of exploiting the a quifer for agriculture. Hence the cultural belief rests on social structure and habitus that directly links pumping to important work of producing food and validating a dying way of life as population shifts to cities. This is why it becomes difficult for farmers to grasp the evidence that the Ogallala is becoming scarce . The discussion of the regulation question provided a suite of discourses supporting open access as against any proposals for regulation. Farmers, water district managers and conservation ists all agreed that there is resistance to regulation. The rationales they gave differed entirely due to their contrasting positions with regard to the benefits of open access. Farmers refuse d to be governed by conservation districts nor do they want the state intervening and telling them h ow to manage their water usage. Beyond the economic and structural arguments, farmers underscored cultural tropes tied to the dignity of farming the land as well as hotly worded arguments about their private property rig hts. For their part, water conservation managers emphasized that their role is not regulatory but rather one of supporting farmers and thus maintaining open access. This reflects the political
139 interest groups between private economic interests and the state. In Texas there is no opposition to open access via the rule of capture , so ownership belongs to whoever owns the land. But as the conservationist noted, w ith no regulation coming from conservation districts or from state agencies, there is means of stemming the depleti o n of a key resource. Overall, these findings provide illustrative examples of th e discourses of key stakeholders with regard to water usage, scarcity and regulation for the case of water resources in North Texas. The findings reveal a suite of rationales, both among stakeholders with regard to a given question about which there is dis agreement, as well as among the three main themes, which elicited very different degrees of acknowledgment. There was consensus among stakeholders that under open access, there is intense competition for water usage. By contrast, there was disagreement amo ng stakeholder groups with regard to the issue of water scarcity; whereas water district managers and conservationists acknowledged scarcity, farmers denied it. And there was agreement that there is resistance to regulation, but different stakeholders gave very different reasons for resisting regulation. Whereas conservationists cited the political economy in a critical light, farmers provided a variety of legitimating rationales ranging from the political economy to cultural tropes, and water district mana gers emphasized the support role of the state to open access in a positive light. In turn, these findings provide narratives which illustrate how open access regimes are viewed from within and importantly how they are sustained, at least discursively, by various stakeholders. The findings are especially interesting in light of the evidence of growing scarcity due to usage, which makes regulation an especially sensitive and difficult topic to broach. As F7 This begs questions of
140 how to address the highly reinforced politics of water, upheld as it is by economic, political,
141 Figure 6 1 . Sprinkler Irrigation. October 23, 2013 . Source: http://www.nelsonirrigation.com/media gallery/photographs/category/applications .
142 Figure 6 2. Photograph taken by Frank Eyhorn. Drip Irrigation . 2004 . Source: http://www.organiccotton.org/oc/Library/library_detail.php?ID=143 .
143 CHAPTER 7 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION This dissertation has examined the e ffects an open access regime has on natural resource management . I took up the case of t he Ogallala Aquifer in the South Plains area of North Texas in order to evaluate different aspects of wate r management by farmers, ranchers, and other stakeholders . Under open access natural re sources are often used unsustainably , as users follow self interest rather than shared management (Reisner, 1986) . With the south plains being so dependent on the Ogalla la in order to maintain economic growth, open access has led many property owners to compete over a n increasingly limited resource . This in turn has led to water scarcity but also resistance to proposals to put regulations in place to promote sustainable water use . In light of scarcity along with resistance to regulation, on the question of how to manage the Ogallala Aquifer is not simple to answer . This dissertation makes clear that management of the Ogallala involves a social structure designed for p rivate property owners to enjoy open access rights to underground water . This structure along with the profit motive, the economic benefits of agriculture, and cultural tropes that valorize farming, has created political resistance to impose governing rest rictions on water use. As this study concludes, it is unclear how the story will ultimately end. Two alternative access, or restrictions will be place on water wi thdrawals from the Ogallala Aquifer . Meanwhile, the Ogallala Aquifer continues to be overused and mismanaged , and water scarcity is the critical issue for the south plains. Nevertheless, conservation districts, farmers, and other stakeholders continue to d isagree about the warning signs that the Ogallala is running out of water. Technological advances of irrigation wells have been accepted when they increase production,
144 but not when water conservation is prioritized instead. Further, farmers who are the pri mary users of the Ogallala Aquifer continue to deny water scarcity . In this chapter, I conclude this dissertation. I first recapitulate my findings and offer a synthesis of key results from the three analytical chapters . I provide an assessment of the Oga llala Aquifer and its potential future . Finally, I point out the limitations of this study as a means for identifying avenues for future research. Findings and Contributions factors explain variations in changes in water levels in agricultural wells How do changes in water levels of rural and urban wells co mpare in the South Plains are evident in discourses of different stakeholder groups regarding water use , water scarcity and water regulation under a regime of open access in the Chapter 4 reported find ings for the first research question. The first major finding revealed that the location of wells, total number of pivots, total acres being irrigated, and buffer zones all influence change in water levels. The buffer zones of wells greatly influence water levels , and makes evident that spatial processes affect resource scarcity . Thus there is an important spatial dimension to open access: natural resources become scarce in some places more than others. Further, pivots and area irrigated near well s also exp lained greater declines in well levels . This finding confirms the effects of agriculture on the Ogallala Aquifer. Chapter 5 took up the second research question. C hanges in water levels in urban wells were relatively small compared to declines in rural we lls. Once again it is significant to point out that the city of Lubbock is not reliant on county wells for its water supply , which suggest the significant differences in changes in water levels between rural and urban wells. Nonetheless,
145 iance on other water sources is also facing scarcity, so the city still relies on its own urban wells. But because r ural wells are dependent on the Ogallala for irrigation purposes, there is a large need to tap into the Ogallala Aquifer. The analysis in th is chapter confirmed that water declines were greater in rural than urban wells, in part due to the massive water requirements of agriculture, and in part due to partial urban reliance on distant wells. Chapter 6 addressed the third and final part of the a nalysis. This chapter showed that while there was consensus about the competition for water usage under open access, there was disagreement among stakeholders over the existence of water scarcity, and stakeholders had very different views on why there is r esistance to regulation of water use. The interpretation of these findings required recognition of themes beyond those originally anticipated, but also invocation of several extant theoretical frameworks. Farmers believe that if they own land, then they sh ould control the water underneath it, and they should be the ones that have say in how the water gets us ed. This reflects the political economy of capitalism as articulated by the treadmill of production as well as the historical social structure surrounding water usage in the State of Texas. In addition , farmers believed that the water they were taking out of the aquifer was minimal , since they only pump ed during certain months of the year. They clung to their arguments and beliefs even when they were provided with maps showing declines in water levels; consequently, they refuse d to acknowledge the effects they were having on the Ogallala Aquifer. These findings suggest that the lack of rules and regulations that are in place has led to political a nd cultural resistance to regulation of water use . A key conclusion that arises from these collective findings is that while water levels are declining in the Ogallala Aquifer, particularly in rural areas with agricultural land use, there are a variety o f factors resisting the implementation of regulations on water use. One of the major
146 contributions that I was able to show was that the current management of the Ogallala Aquifer cannot continue on. Changes are going to have to occur in order to preserve t he life of the Ogallala Aquifer. There are too many users trying to tap into a limited supply of water. As WC stated, agriculture life on the south plains is not sustainable. This is why so many farmers are starting to see their wells go dry. Some of the w ells might recharge, but as long as individuals are able to pump freely, there will not be enough water to go around for everyone. According to Shiva (2002) , explains why farmers do not want to be govern. During my interviews, several farmers became very hostile and aggressive when asked if the Ogallala should be managed. There was a very clear indication that the governance of the Ogallala was not desired . Another contri bution that I was able to find was that advances in technology that were created to increase production are adopted, but those intended to reduce water scarcity are not . Farmers have found new technologies of drip irrigation to be uninteresting because the y are expensive and do not increase productivity . While drip irrigation does reduce the amount of evaporation taking place, drip irrigation does not have the ability to water large quantities of crops . F armers have therefore reverted back to sprinkler irri gation, as it permits greater productivity . Since open access allows for farmers to use the aquifer in a manner they choose, they are able to disregard that sprinkler i rrigation is more water intensive. These statements support TOP, but go against EMT. T he Future of the Ogallala Aquifer The Ogallala Aquifer was created millions of years ago; however it has only taken decades to nearly deplete a once abundant fresh water supply. The Ogallala Aquifer has helped transform the South Plains region into one of the most prosperous places through out the world. Despite having some of the worst weather within the United States, the aquifer has permitted
147 economic expansion in the South Plains region of Texas. With the advances of irrigation, the South Plain region has been able to thrive in a harsh T exas climate. Irrigation has made it possible for agriculture and human life to thrive. Land once considered by many government agriculture. However, excessive pumpi ng has depleted the aquifer s fresh water supply. Some parts of the Ogallala Aquifer are in such decline, there is less than thirty feet of fresh water in some areas . This along with resistance to regulation is why I believe the future of the Ogallala is bleak. With no agencies in place to protect the Ogallala, it is only a matter of time before it i s depleted . T he conservation districts have known that the Ogallala is being depleted, and instead o f trying to preserve it, they have been managing it in order to protect the interest s of landowners. Eventually, farmers will have to return to dry farming. The issue with dry farming is that you need more acres in order to grow the same amount (Ashworth, 2006). However, the biggest shift resulting back to dry land farming is that you never know if a crop will produce a large harvest . Farmers will again become dependent on the rains. Some farmers might have crops some years and might not produce anything th e next couple of years. These statements were supported by one local farmer I interviewed: You always have that hope that next week the rain will come. If you just up and quit and you keep that year. Just like this year, [inaudible 16:05] has had some pretty good rains. Had I irrigated cotton that would have done pretty well north of town and I got 2 inches of rain, it would have made me look like a smart farmer because I kept it going. Had I gotten a quarter
148 The inability to dry farm in a semiarid region puts huge amount of tension and uncertainty on farmers who have to be selective with their crops. Thus, more and more wells will continue to become nonoperational and very expensive to use. Little by little farms will scale back their operations , and as they do the small rur al towns will have to make hard economic decisions. Especially the towns that are dependent on agriculture as their economic means, as they will feel the effects the most. Researchers such as Popper and Popper (1987) believe that the South Plains area will eventually return to its original state prior to the 1960s. With the dwindling aquifer heading towards destruction, land will become depopulated and with little or no agriculture production taking place. Rural towns will cease to exist. As well levels c ontinue to decline throughout the south plains, new approaches to agricultural production will have to be considered . Ashworth (2006) maintains that echnology can squeeze more production out of the declining water, but it cannot stop the decline, and it may even speed it up. Laws can be effective, but only to the extent that they are accepted and supported by those who are bound by them. Judges cannot order wells to stop declining; all they can do is order the owners of the wells to stop pumping. That wil l work only if the owners have other resources available. If they do not, they will either, disobey the law or change it (p. 262). According to members of the HPW D: All water usage will decline. We hope that does not happen, we hope there are scientific a nd technological changes and advances that are around in the corner being worked on that will length the life of the aquifer. The time to act is now ; if efforts are not put forward in terms of regulation use, the Ogallala will run dry. The disappointing aspect in all this is that the water districts are in favor of local control , which to date means no control . As a result, it is going to be difficult to seek change , which requires regulation of water use . If representatives of the board for both district s
149 are local farmers, how is policy in terms of scarcity ever going to be a topic in which the districts are willing address? When the WC confronted the water district in regards of the Ogallala declining, she was told to: Put those numbers away, those are out calculations and I would take them to the board and show them things but they would an accepted fact on how water yields to a well. The following map (Image 7 1) shows the potential future of the Ogallala by year 2030 at the current rate in which water withdraws are taking place. Image 7 1 clearly shows that many regions in the south plains will not have enough wate r in order to support agriculture. Image 7 2 shows the lifeline of the Ogallala. Many counties and towns in the south plains have less than 15 years of water available . A s a result , water conflicts will quickly develop as they did in California, Nevada, an d Arizona. This is why critical steps need to be made in order to protect the Ogallala Aquifer. Oklahoma has shown that if a strong governing body is in place, with the authority to impose rules that are strictly enforced, the Ogallala Aquifer can be used sustainability. Oklahoma is an example of strong state regulation. A s a result , landowners are not able to dictate how the Ogallala Aquifer gets used. But state regulation does not mean regulation merely imposed by the state on landowners. To the c ontrary, Oklah oma has developed a practice in which it involves everyone in the decision making on how the aquifer will be used. The complete opposite is happening in Texas. The laws of open access via the rule of capture allows for landowner to have comp lete control. T he conservation districts that are in Texas are there to protect the water rights for landowners rather than regulate use or consult with other stakeholders . Sanctions that are currently in place are not strong enough in the state of Texas t o deter people away from abusing their water rights. The irony is that the state has given
150 complete control to landowners, and until that process is change the Ogallala Aquifer will continue to see water levels decline. If alternatives methods are not crea ted, the aquifer in time will run out of water. Limitations One of the limitations within the dissertation is that I failed to acknowledge climate chang e. After conducting the analysis for chapters 4 and 5 and conducting interviews for chapter 6 , I believe climate change can help explain why water levels have been in decline (2002 2010) . The south plains has experienced severe droughts in several of the last ten years , and as a result farmers have relied heavily on irrigation. During the interview process , several farmers and stakeholders mentioned the ongoing drought and believed it was one of the biggest reasons in which farmers found themselves irrigating more heavily than before . While it is expensive to operate irrigation wells, the recent droughts have given farmers no other choice. This might explain why there are relatively large declines in water well levels among Dawson and Lubbock County in certain years, such as the drought year of 2011 . Do to the lack of rainfall , many lakes and streams are also running dry . Cities like Lubbock are dependent on nearby lakes as their main water supply. As a result of record droughts throughout the South Plains of North Texas , L akes Allen Henry and Meredith are increasingly insufficient to supply water to the growing city of Lubbock. The steady increase in urban population is also a factor of the declining water levels. I believe the record droughts that the south plains has experienced over the last couple of years is a result of climate change. With the area receiving inadequate amounts of rainfall , lakes are unable to support the water demands of Lubbock, which then forces the city to turn to their local well s . For that reason , climate change has intensified competition over the water from the Ogallala Aquif er , by reducing water supplies from precipitation and increasing the need for
151 pumping . I believe that future research needs to examine how climate change has impacted the south plains. This will provide a better understanding to see the effects climate cha nge has on the Ogallala Aquifer Conclusion The Ogallala Aquifer has too many hands tapping into a scarce resource . Famers, residents, cities, and rural towns all have access to the aquifer and are able to use it however they decide. For the most part the aquifer has been able to serve the needs of everyone, but for how long? There are too many individuals that have control over the fresh water supply and with no laws to stop the process from changing , people will continue to abuse the commons (Hardin, 1968). If local groups are not able to self regulate, the federal government needs to step in and intervene. Looking back at the events that took place in California, it was not until the federal government came and regulated water consumption that the state was able to implement regulations and ensure a sustainable water supply. In that case, the intervention came too l ate , and California and Arizona both face water scarcity . T he state of California is now completely dependent on neighboring states for their water supply. I f the S tate of Texas continues to neglect the Ogallala Aquifer , then other government al agencies m ust come to the aid of the aquifer . If not , farmers will deplete the aquifer and be forced to revert back to dry farming . H istory has shown us that dry farming was a difficult means of working the land on the south plains. There must be some type of control. Only then will we be able to preserve the longevity of the Ogallala Aquifer. Farmers must adopt EMT technologies and policies that promote water conservation instead of merely increased agricultural production . According to F11: red technology they have now, doing infra red irrigation where it will map and show the plants density and how many areas need more water. You can tell from an infra red satellite where it is
152 variable in. Capitalism at its finest. These statements show that EMT can be valuable in protecting the existence of the Ogallala Aquifer. The key will be to offer new technologies on a cost effective basis. There remains the challenge of the strong culture belief s among farmers that groundwater is their water. The ability to precious resource is in a sense stealing. Farmers refuse to take any of blame for declining water levels though rural wells near pivots and other wells are declining faster than urban wel ls and more isolated wells . Water needs to be prioritized and treated differently than any other agriculture resources because it affects everyone.
153 Figure 7 1. Potential future of the Ogallala. Map provided by Texas Tech University.
154 Figure 7 2. Lifeline of the Ogallala. Map Provided by Texas Tech University .
155 APPENDIX INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRE Farmers: Where does your main water supply come from? Did you irrigate during the drought? What type of irrigation system do you use? What do you know about the Ogallala Aquifer? What other water alternatives do you use besides the Ogallala Aquifer? In terms of the recent drought, have you been more dependent on well (Ogallala aquifer) water in order to m aintain a healthy farmland or livestock? Should the Ogallala be govern? Should people be allowed to pump as much as they want? Do you feel you are in a competition over water with your fellow neighbor/farmer? Stakeholders: Water Conservationist Rece nt data levels show that the Ogallala Aquifer is in decline, what precautions do you feel should be in place in order to preserve the longevity of the aquifer? Should people be allowed to pump as much water as they want? Should the Ogallala be govern? If yes, what polices should be in place? Can you explain the hydrology of the Ogallala Aquifer? If water is pumped from one location , does it affect what levels at another location? What is the replenish rate of the Ogallala? How is data collected and gathered? How often are the wells monitored? What is the difference between the conservation districts here compared to the TWDB?
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161 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Robert Lee Cavazos earned his Bachelor of Arts in s ociology in 2005 and Master of Arts in s ociology in 2008 from Texas Tech University. In 2008 h e joined the doctoral program in s ociology at the University of Florida. He will receive his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in the summer of 2014. His research includes environmental and urban sociology with an emphasis on race/class. He is currently conducting research on New Urban ist Developments, while examining water scarcity issues of the Ogallala Aquifer within the South Plains of Northern Texas. He has presented his research at the American Sociological Association Conference and at the Southern Sociological Society Conference . He will continue his academic career at Tarleton State University as assistant professor in Stephenville, Texas.