Thesis (M.S., Natural Resources) -- University of Idaho, 2015 | Community-based management (CBM) continues to expand as the amount of global natural resources diminishes. Often, researchers find that creating CBM institutions does not lead to equitable access or sustainable resource use. Instead, addressing underlying factors that motivate participation in such programs should be viewed as fundamental in developing effective and fair management practices. This study's primary objective was to investigate the drivers that motivate willingness to participate (WTP) in community-based water resource management (CBWRM) in the Trifinio region, a transboundary watershed in Central America. Literature on participatory management suggests five overarching constructs influence WTP (1) sense of community (SOC), (2) dependence on water resources, (3) perceptions of current water management, (4) locus of authority, and (5) socio-economic variables (i.e., gender, education, and wealth). Multivariate regression models using these predictors explain 30% to 55% of the variance in WTP (p<.05). First, SOC was the most robust predictor of WTP (beta=.455, p<.01). Second, qualitative results indicate that small-scale development programs should focus first on addressing water scarcity, a primary concern among respondents. Finally, enhancing social connections in local communities and nesting CBM programmatic design into municipal level governance may enhance continued efforts to establish CBWRM institutions within Trifinio.