The primary objective of this study is to determine what drives states to plan for the impacts of a changing climate. As the climate continues to change, climate scientists have projected changes in water quantities available for human and other uses. This quantitative study examines how state water plans and state hazard mitigation plans address climate change. Plans were coded for the extent to which they address climate change in their calculations regarding future water supply and demand. Ordinal logistic regression models were developed to test the predictive value of independent variables including statewide voting, vulnerability to climate change, and recent experience with droughts and natural disasters. The most significant predictor variable for both state water planning and state hazard mitigation planning was state partisanship. Democratic leaning states were much more likely to include climate change in their plans than were Republican leaning states.
Water planning; Climate change; State planning; Partisan politics; Water resources