“Drought is a Relative Term:” Drought Risk Perceptions and Water Management Preferences among Diverse Community Members in Oklahoma, USA
- 520 Downloads
Recent hydrological studies of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer in south central Oklahoma indicate the need for sustainable management of the amount of water extracted, especially in a drying climate. This study draws on the Cultural Theory of Risk to diagnose how cultural worldviews inform drought risk perceptions, which in turn guide water management preferences and ignite conflict or inspire cooperation among members of communities that rely on the aquifer. Results show that while drought risk perceptions are complex and often conflicting, community members largely agree water management is important but disagree about how and by whom. People oppose management options that threaten their worldviews or stated ideal ways of life. While surveys are useful indicators of people’s stated preferences for management approaches, a deeper analysis is required to understand what management strategies people will accept and eventually comply with.
KeywordsDrought Risk perception Cultural theory of risk Water management Climate change Oklahoma USA
Thank you to community members in the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer area and to Julie Demuth, Shannon McNeeley, Rebecca Morss, Erin Towler, and Debasish PaiMazumder, and Kevin Sampson. This study was funded by award #NA11OAR4310205 from the Sectoral Application Research Program of the NOAA Climate Program Office, with additional support from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). NCAR is sponsored by the National Science.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This study was funded by the Sectoral Application Research Program of the NOAA Climate Program Office (grant number NA11OAR4310205).
Conflict of Interest
The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.
- Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer maximum Annual Yield: Hearing before the Oklahoma Water Resources Board Hearing Examiner. (2012). Sulphur, Oklahoma.Google Scholar
- Bernard, Russell, H. (2002). Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. 3rd edition. Alta Mira Press, Walnut Creek, CA.Google Scholar
- Boholm, Asa. (2003). The Cultural Nature of Risk: Can there be an Anthropology of Uncertainty? Ethnos 68(2): 159–178.Google Scholar
- Cayan D. R., Dettinger M. D., Pierce D., Das T., Knowles N., Ralph F. M., and Sumargo E. (2016). Natural Variability, Anthropogenic Climate Change, and Impacts on Water Availability and Flood Extremes in the Western United States. In Miller K. A., Hamlet A. F., Kenney D. S., and Redmond K. (eds.), Water Policy and Planning in a Variable and Changing Climate, CRC Press.Google Scholar
- Christenson, Scott, Osborn, N.I., Neel, C.R., Faith, J.R., Blome, C.D. Puckette, James and Pantea, M.P. (2011). Hydrogeology and Simulation of Groundwater Flow in the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer, South-central Oklahoma: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5029.Google Scholar
- Cleaver, Francis, (2012). Development through Bricolage: Rethinking Institutions for Natural Resource Management. Routledge, New York.Google Scholar
- Colby, Bonnie G., Thorson, John E., and Britton, Sarah. (2005). Negotiating Tribal Water Rights Fulfilling Promises in the Arid West. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.Google Scholar
- Dai A. (2011). Drought under Global Warming: A Review. Wiley Interdisciplinary Review: Climate Change 2(1): 45–65.Google Scholar
- Dai, A. (2013). Increasing Drought under Global Warming in Observations and Models. Nature Climate Change 3:52–58.Google Scholar
- Dake, Karl. (1991). Orienting Dispositions in the Perception of Risk: An Analysis of Contemporary Worldviews and Cultural Biases. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 22(1):61–82.Google Scholar
- Dake, Karl. (1992). Myths of Nature – Cultural and Social Construction of Risk. Journal of Social Issues 48(4):21-37.Google Scholar
- Douglas, Mary. (1966). Purity and Danger. Routledge, London.Google Scholar
- Douglas, Mary. (1996). Thought Styles, SAGE Publications, London.Google Scholar
- Douglas, Mary. (1999). Four Cultures: The Evolution of a Parsimonious Model. GeoJournal 43(3):411-415.Google Scholar
- Douglas M., and Wildavsky A. (1982). Risk and Culture: An Essay on the Selection of Technical and Environmental Dangers, University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
- Fort D. (2016). Key Legal Issues in Western Water Management and Climate Adaptation. In Miller K. A., Hamlet A. F., Kenney D. S., and Redmond K. (eds.), Water Policy and Planning in a Variable and Changing Climate, CRC Press.Google Scholar
- Georgakakos A., Fleming P., Dettinger M., Peters-Lidard C., Richmond T., Reckhow K., White K. and Yates D. (2014). Ch. 3: Water Resources. Climate Change Impacts in the United States. In Melillo, J. M., Richmond, Terese, and Yohe, G. W. (eds.), The Third National Climate Assessment U.S. Global Change Research Program. Pp 69-112.Google Scholar
- Gross J. L., and Rayner, S. (1985). Measuring Culture. A Paradigm for the Analysis of Social Organization. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
- Jaeger C. C., Renn O., Rosa E. A., and Webler T. (1998). Decision Analysis and Rational Action. In Malone E. L. (ed.), Rayner, S, Human Choice and Climate Change. Battelle Press, Columbus, pp. 141–216.Google Scholar
- Kahan D. M. (2012). Cultural Cognition as a Conception of the Cultural Theory of Risk. In Roeser S., Hillerbrand R., Sandin P., Peterson M. (eds.), Handbook of Risk Theory, Springer. pp. 725–759. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-1433-5_28.
- Lansing, Stephen. (1987). Balinese “Water Temples” and the Management of Irrigation. American Anthropologist 89(2):326-341.Google Scholar
- Lazrus, Heather. (2012). Sea Change: Island Communities and Climate Change. Annual Review of Anthropology 41:285–301.Google Scholar
- Leiserowitz, Anthony. (2006). Climate Change Risk Perception and Policy Preferences: The Role of Affect, Imagery, And Values. Climatic Change. 77: 45–72.Google Scholar
- McCabe, Terrence. (2002) The Role of Drought among the Turkana of Kenya. In: Culture and Catastrophe. Oliver-Smith, Anthony and Hoffman, Susanna (eds) School of American Research Press, Santa Fe. pp. 213-236Google Scholar
- McNeeley, Shannon and Lazrus, Heather. (2014). The Cultural Theory of Risk for Climate Change Adaptation. Weather, Climate, and Society 6(4): 506-519.Google Scholar
- Mead, Margaret. (1970). Letter from Peri-Manus, II. In Mead, Margaret and Metreaux, R. (eds.), A Way of Seeing. The McCall Publishing Company, New York, Pp. 306-311.Google Scholar
- Oliver-Smith, Anthony. (1996). Anthropological Research on Hazards and Disasters. Annual Review of Anthropology 25:303-328.Google Scholar
- Oliver-Smith, Anthony. (2002). Theorizing Disaster: Nature, Power, and Culture. In Hoffman, Susanna. M. and Oliver-Smith, Anthony (eds.), Catastrophe and Culture: The Anthropology of Disaster. School of American Research, Santa Fe, Pp. 23-48.Google Scholar
- Ostrom, Eleanor. (1990). Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
- OWRB. (no date). Fact Sheet: Determination of Maximum Annual Yield. State of Oklahoma Water Resources Board. http://www.owrb.ok.gov/util/pdf_util/Arbuckle%20MAY%20Hearing/prehearing_docs/6-DeterminationMAY.pdf. Accessed 20 July 2016.
- OWRB. (no date). Arbuckle-Simpson Maximum Annual Yield Final Order. State of Oklahoma Water Resources Board. http://www.owrb.ok.gov/util/pdf_util/Arbuckle%20MAY%20Hearing/AS-MAY_FinalOrderSigned10-23-13.pdf. Accessed 20 July 2016.
- Pulwarty R. (2003). Climate and Water in the West: Science, Information and Decision-making. Water Resources 124: 4–12.Google Scholar
- Rayner, Steve. (1992). Cultural Theory and Risk Analysis. In Krimsky, S. and Golding, D. (eds.), Social Theories of Risk. Praeger, Westport, pp. 83–115.Google Scholar
- Sahlins, Marshall. (1972). Stone Age Economics. Aldine, Chicago.Google Scholar
- Sheffield J., and Wood, E.F. (2007). Projected Changes in Drought Occurrence under Future Global Warming from Multi-model, Multi-scenario, IPCC AR4 Simulations. Climate Dynamics (31)1:79-105.Google Scholar
- Shivers M.J., and Andrews, W.J. (2013). Hydrologic Drought of Water Year 2011 Compared to Four Major Drought Periods of the 20th Century in Oklahoma USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2013–5018.Google Scholar
- Silvas V., McPherson R., and Lazrus H. (2014). Climatology of the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer Region: A Report of the Water Decisions for Sustainability of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer Project, NCAR Tech Note 2014-06, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder.Google Scholar
- Solway, Jacqueline S. (1994). Drought as a Revelatory Crisis: An Exploration of Shifting Entitlements and Hierarchies in the Kalahari, Botswana. Development and Change 25(3):471–495.Google Scholar
- Thompson, Michael and Rayner, Steve. (1998). Cultural Discourses. In Rayner, Steve and Malone, Elizabeth L. (eds.), Human Choice and Climate Change: Volume 1 - The Societal Framework. Battelle Press, Colombua, pp. 265–343.Google Scholar
- Thompson M., and Wildavsky A. (1982). A Proposal to Creati a Cultural Theory of Risk. In Kunruther et al. (eds.), The Risk Analysis Controversy. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, pp. 145–161.Google Scholar
- Thompson M., Ellis R., and Wildavsky A. (1990). Cultural Theory, Westview Press, Boulder.Google Scholar
- Towler, Erin, Lazrus, Heather, and Paimazumder, Debasish. (2016a). Avoiding Drought Risks and Potential Water Management Conflict under Climate Change. Climate Risk Management. In press.Google Scholar
- Towler, Erin, PaiMazumder, Debasish, Holland, Greg. (2016b). A Framework for Investigating Large-scale Patterns as an Alternative to Precipitation for Downscaling to Local Drought. Climate Dynamics. doi: 10.1007/s00382-016-3116-5.
- Trawick, Paul. (2001). The moral economy of water: equity and antiquity in the Andean commons. American Anthropologist 103(2):361–379.Google Scholar
- Verweij M., Luana S., and Nowacki M. (2011). How to Test Cultural Theory: Suggestions for Future Research. PS: Political Science & Politics 44(04): 745–748.Google Scholar
- Wildavsky A., and Dake K. (1990). Theories of Risk Perception: Who Fears What and Why? Daedalus 114: 41–60.Google Scholar