2nd UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Christine Overdevest
Session Name Poster Session: Human Dimensions of Water Sustainability 1
Category Human dimensions of water sustainability
Poster Number 115
Author(s) Lisa Christiansen,  University of FLorida
  Christine Overdevest,  University of Florida
  Treavor Boyer, University of Florida
  Understanding Stakeholders in the St. Johns River
  The effectiveness of plans to address water supply issues, such as in the Saint Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), depends in part of stakeholder acceptance of and support for agency decisions and scientific findings. Yet currently stakeholders’ views on the desirability of surface water withdrawals and the science behind are polarized. Social science research on polarized attitudes among stakeholders suggests the individuals and groups often interpret scientific information through their own cultural worldviews or lens (Kahan et al, 2007; Sabatier 1998). Better understanding of these worldviews and associated beliefs about impacts and interpretation of scientific information of stakeholders in the St. Johns is the topic of this research. This poster reports preliminary data on beliefs and expectations about impacts of surface water withdrawals and interpretation of scientific information across stakeholder groups. The specific objectives of this work are: (1) to identify cultural worldviews stakeholders hold; (2) to examine how salient beliefs about impacts of surface water withdrawal vary among stakeholders; and (3) to understand how stakeholder salient beliefs about alternative water supply sources cluster. This research is the preliminary step in a larger project to understand to what extent attitudes toward alternative water supply sources are driven by cultural identities. The work will be accomplished by a stakeholder surveys, workshops, and analysis of findings.