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Water 2015, 7(12), 6775-6787; doi:10.3390/w7126659

Stressors and Strategies for Managing Urban Water Scarcity: Perspectives from the Field

Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97201-0751, USA
Schools of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and Sustainability, Arizona State University, AZ 85287-5302, USA
Herrera Inc., Seattle, WA 98121, USA
Department of Geography, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97201-0751, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yingkui Li
Received: 17 August 2015 / Revised: 4 November 2015 / Accepted: 5 November 2015 / Published: 1 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1300 KB, uploaded 1 December 2015]   |  


Largely because water resource planning in the U.S. has been separated from land-use planning, opportunities for explicitly linking planning policies to water availability remain unexamined. The pressing need for better coordination between land-use planning and water management is amplified by changes in the global climate, which will place even greater importance on managing water supplies and demands than in the past. By surveying land and water managers in two urbanizing regions of the western United States—Portland, Oregon and Phoenix Arizona—we assessed the extent to which their perspectives regarding municipal water resource management align or differ. We specifically focus on characterizing how they perceive water scarcity problems (i.e., stressors) and solutions (i.e., strategies). Overall, the results show a general agreement across both regions and professions that long-term drought, population growth, and outdoor water use are the most important stressors to urban water systems. The results of the survey indicated more agreement across cities than across professions with regard to effective strategies, reinforcing the idea that land-use planners and water managers remain divided in their conception of the solutions to urban water management. To conclude, we recommend potential pathways for coordinating the fields of land and water management for urban sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: water managers; land-use planners; climate change; stressors; strategies; Portland; phoenix water managers; land-use planners; climate change; stressors; strategies; Portland; phoenix

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Shandas, V.; Lehman, R.; Larson, K.L.; Bunn, J.; Chang, H. Stressors and Strategies for Managing Urban Water Scarcity: Perspectives from the Field. Water 2015, 7, 6775-6787.

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