Integrating Monitoring Technology and Psychology to Improve Water Management in a Groundwater Dependent Community

Presented on Tuesday, December 3, 2019
William Brewer1, Logan Yelderman, PhD2 and Joe Yelderman Jr., PhD, PG3, (1)Geosciences, Baylor University, Waco, TX, (2)Juvenile Justice and Psychology, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX, (3)Geosciences, Baylor University

Understanding stakeholder comprehension and motivations are important in promoting resource conservation and responsible use. Groundwater resources are notoriously poorly conceptualized in ways not conducive to conservation behaviors, such as envisioning groundwater systems as underground lakes and streams. The current project seeks to integrate commonly-applied principles of psychological research and hydrogeological understanding to better understand water use behaviors for a groundwater dependent-dependent community in Central Texas, near the village of Salado. The community primarily uses the confined Trinity Aquifer and exempt household wells to provide water. The stakeholders within the community have varying awareness of the aquifer system that they use and differing opinions of the importance of groundwater conservation districts within Texas. A new well monitoring network were installed on 6 wells within this community. Comparing the results of conservation attitude surveys both before and after the installation will help to reveal the role that having a “stake in the game” and more local water table data can have on water conservation practices and attitudes. The survey results also indicate the level of familiarity with groundwater mechanics for the study population. Partnering with the local groundwater conservation district ensures that survey questions will be relevant, and allows the data gathered to be effectively applied to future education and outreach efforts. Participants will be surveyed a second time after an educational presentation in order to attempt to view the effects that awareness of issues has on attitudes and conservation behaviors.

William Brewer
Geosciences, Baylor University
PhD student research in multi-discipline program
Logan Yelderman, PhD
Psychology, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX
Education Ph.D., University of Nevada-Reno Interests attitudes toward the criminally insane and mentally ill offenders, mental illness verdicts (e.g. NGRI and GBMI), the relationship between religion and legal processes (e.g. jury decision-making), parole decision-making, emotion, attributions, morality, and public perceptions
Joe Yelderman Jr., PhD, PG
Geosciences, Baylor University
Joe Yelderman Jr. is a professor in the Department of Geology at Baylor University. He is currently the director of the Institute for Ecological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences. His specialty areas are hydrogeology and environmental geology. His research interests include springs, groundwater/surface-water interactions, and urban hydrogeology.
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