Whiskey's Fer Drinkin'; Water's Fer Fightin'! Is it? Resolving a Collective Action Dilemma in New Mexico
Posted: 11 Oct 2004
The water budget of New Mexico's Middle Rio Grande region incurs annually a deficit of 55,000 acre-feet through groundwater mining. To address this unsustainable condition, a State-mandated regional water planning effort involving significant public participation is underway to produce a regional water plan. The action arena where this process is taking place may not be appropriately constituted to enable stakeholders to agree on and implement a comprehensive plan to balance all desired and required uses with sustainable supply. The heterogeneity of the actors and their interests and the complexity of the decision situations they face contribute to a high level of uncertainty about the outcome. Changing the rules of the game to encourage interested actors to negotiate partial solutions to the problem may increase incentives for participation and cooperation and allow more productive institutional arrangements to emerge.
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