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Joni Seaton James Charles
Associate Professor of Economics
Department of Finance and Economics
Texas State University
To Be or Not To Be a Golf Course in Wimberley? 

This interrupted case study examines the tensions that a small town in Texas faces between economic development and the preservation of a natural water resource for which the town is known. It highlights the interdependence and tensions between economic activity, economic growth and the natural environment.  Various stakeholder groups materialize when a residential developer submits plans to construct a new golf course that could lead to over-pumping of precious groundwater in a region already stricken with drought. Students identify these stakeholder groups and then engage in a role playing activity that requires them to articulate the various viewpoints. The case study is intended to be used early in the semester as a way of introducing course components such as economic analysis, environmental policy, environmental stewardship, risk assessment, and management. The case can also be used to introduce economic concepts to students of environmental issues in the physical sciences. Ideally students will have previously taken an introductory microeconomics class.