Water: Miami, Vegas, LA

Award Year: 
Principal Investigator: 
Margaret Garcia, Tufts University
Aaron Deslatte, Northern Illinois University

Cities in the United States are increasingly aware of challenges to the long-term sustainability of their water supplies from competing demands, increasing environmental flow requirements, and climate change. Planning for sustainable water management challenges the status quo, and many barriers to implementation exist. However, understanding how and why water management has transitioned in the past can help decision makers plan and recognize opportunities for more sustainable future management. For our Pursuit, we will construct empirically-driven narratives for three cities that have experienced transitions in water management regimes and are currently responding to long-term, uncertain water resource challenges: Miami, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. By bringing existing hydrologic data and policy analysis for each city into a common analytical framework we ask the following: how do the biophysical, regulatory and political/institutional drivers for and barriers against sustainable water management lead to similar and different policy responses? To address this question, we will apply the exposure theory of transition to the three cities to guide the preparation of our narratives, which will draw on rich data covering biophysical, regulatory, and political/institutional dimensions. Through the work proposed in this pursuit, we aim to advance the study of urban water management as a complex socioecological system and to provide actionable insights to the practitioner community on planning and recognizing opportunities for water management change.

Jessica Bolson, University of Pennsylvania
Kathleen Ernst, University of Tennessee
Sara Hughes, University of Toronto Mississauga
Elizabeth Koebele, University of Colorado Boulder
Kim Manago, Colorado School of Mines
Galen Treuer, University of Miami
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