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Urban and rural attitudes toward municipal water controls: A study of a semi-arid region with limited water supplies


  • Pumphrey, R. Gary
  • Edwards, Jeffrey A.
  • Becker, Klaus G.


This study addresses the effectiveness of using pricing mechanisms, government-imposed constraints, or a hybrid, as a means of rationing municipal water. We try to test which policies would be most accepted among rural and urban communities in a semi-arid region of Texas that depend on both surface and groundwater sources for their municipal supplies. This study reveals that a hybrid conservation policy that includes mandatory restrictions, fines for overuse, and pricing increases could be more acceptable, and hence more efficient, than a policy that only consists of regulation. Moreover, there is not a significant dichotomy in policy preferences between rural and urban constituents; although those in rural communities would seem to appreciate far less regulatory policy than would urbanites.

Suggested Citation

  • Pumphrey, R. Gary & Edwards, Jeffrey A. & Becker, Klaus G., 2008. "Urban and rural attitudes toward municipal water controls: A study of a semi-arid region with limited water supplies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-12, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:65:y:2008:i:1:p:1-12

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    Cited by:

    1. Bethany Cooper & Michael Burton & Lin Crase, 2019. "Willingness to Pay to Avoid Water Restrictions in Australia Under a Changing Climate," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 72(3), pages 823-847, March.
    2. Kristin Cockerill & Pete Groothuis & Tanga Mohr & Courtney Cooper, 2014. "Individual water: Water source as an indicator of attitudes about water management and conservation in rural regions," Working Papers 14-04, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    3. Jeffrey A. Edwards & Tara R. Wade & Mark L. Burkey & R. Gary Pumphrey, 2014. "Forecasting the Public's Acceptability of Municipal Water Regulation and Price Rationing for Communities on the Ogallala Aquifer," Journal of Economic Insight (formerly the Journal of Economics (MVEA)), Missouri Valley Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 1-30.
    4. Bjornlund, H. & Xu, W. & Wheeler, S., 2014. "An overview of water sharing and participation issues for irrigators and their communities in Alberta: Implications for water policy," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 171-180.
    5. Jeffrey A. EDWARDS & Alfredo A. ROMERO & R. Gary PUMPHREY, 2014. "Supporting the Development of Municipal Water Policy: A study of the United States with Implications for Other Nations," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 14(2).
    6. Edwards, Jeffrey A. & Pumphrey, R. Gary & Barbato, Lucia & Kurkalova, Lyubov A. & Burkey, Mark L., 2012. "Building a simple general model of municipal water conservation policy for communities overlying the Ogallala Aquifer," MPRA Paper 41750, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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