Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015RI120B

Common Pool Resources and Water Quality Experiments

Institute: Rhode Island
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $19,581 Total Non-Federal Funds: $39,230

Principal Investigators: Todd Guilfoos

Abstract: This research addresses the connectivity of groundwater and surface water flows in a series of human based experiments based on common pool resources. It expands the research in social sciences to investigate the cognitive underpinnings of cooperation in social dilemmas under various situations that are critical when thinking about water policy. The proposed experiments will delve into uncertainty in the physical process, the timing of those processes, and the severity of the damage caused. The benefits to this research will be to advance our understanding of the cognitive systems that are active in these decisions, when they are taxed too much, and under what conditions do they employ cooperative strategies and why. When these processes are better understood then policy can be designed to effectively deal with social dilemmas such as water quality degradation. This research will also help bridge the gap between economic theory and psychological research on cognitive processes and behavior in common pool resource games which are applicable to water policies.