Despite transboundary water resource management issues being a source of tension between neighboring states, little research has addressed what causes cooperation or conflict between differing governments along borders. For the most part, natural hydrological boundaries do not fall easily within political boundary delineations, so governance structures and management approaches are often very different once political jurisdictions are crossed, underscoring the importance of proper management of transboundary water resources. In order to better understand what drives cooperative or conflictual behavior among transboundary stakeholders, a cross-sectional study was conducted along the Texas-Mexico border. Questionnaires were collected (N=168) from Texas water managers along the southern border on issues related to their Mexican counterparts. The results revealed that a lack of trust for binational counterparts is correlated (p<0.001) with a decrease in willingness to cooperate; likewise, as trust decreased, perceptions of risk increased. This approach can help identify a plausible intervention strategy that could target activities that build trust between individuals on both sides of the border to mitigate individuals’ perceptions of risk.
© 2019 Lindsay SansomDownload PDF