Matching Items (14)

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Quenching our thirst for future knowledge: participatory scenario construction and sustainable water governance in a desert city

Description

Transformational sustainability science demands that stakeholders and researchers consider the needs and values of future generations in pursuit of solutions to sustainability problems. This dissertation research focuses on the real-world

Transformational sustainability science demands that stakeholders and researchers consider the needs and values of future generations in pursuit of solutions to sustainability problems. This dissertation research focuses on the real-world problem of unsustainable water governance in the Phoenix region of Central Arizona. A sustainability transition is the local water system is necessary to overcome sustainability challenges and scenarios can be used to explore plausible and desirable futures to inform a transition, but this requires some methodological refinements. This dissertation refines scenario methodology to generate water governance scenarios for metropolitan Phoenix that: (i) feature enhanced stakeholder participation; (ii) incorporate normative values and preferences; (iii) focus on governance actors and their activities; and (iv) meet an expanded set of quality criteria. The first study in the dissertation analyzes and evaluates participatory climate change scenarios to provide recommendations for the construction and use of scenarios that advance climate adaptation and mitigation efforts. The second study proposes and tests a set of plausibility indications to substantiate or evaluate claims that scenarios and future projections could become reality, helping to establish the legitimacy of radically different or transformative scenarios among an extended peer community. The case study of water governance begins with the third study, which includes a current state analysis and sustainability appraisal of the Phoenix-area water system. This is followed by a fourth study which surveys Phoenix-area water decision-makers to better understand water-related preferences for use in scenario construction. The fifth and final study applies a multi-method approach to construct future scenarios of water governance in metropolitan Phoenix in 2030 using stakeholder preferences, among other normative frames, and testing systemic impacts with WaterSim 5.0, a dynamic simulation model of water in the region. The scenarios are boundary objects around which stakeholders can weigh tradeoffs, set priorities and reflect on impacts of water-related activities, broadening policy dialogues around water governance in central Arizona. Together the five studies advance transformational sustainability research by refining methods to engage stakeholders in crafting futures that define how individuals and institutions should operate in transformed and sustainable systems.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Urban development and sustainable water management of southwest cities

Description

Water is the defining issue in determining the development and growth of human populations of the Southwest. The cities of Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, and El Paso have experienced

Water is the defining issue in determining the development and growth of human populations of the Southwest. The cities of Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, and El Paso have experienced rapid and exponential growth over the past 50 years. The outlook for having access to sustainable sources of water to support this growth is not promising due to water demand and supply deficits. Regional water projects have harnessed the Colorado and Rio Grande rivers to maximize the utility of the water for human consumption and environmental laws have been adopted to regulate the beneficial use of this water, but it still is not enough to create sustainable future for rapidly growing southwest cities. Future growth in these cities will depend on finding new sources of water and creative measures to maximize the utility of existing water resources. The challenge for southwest cities is to establish policies, procedures, and projects that maximizes the use of water and promotes conservation from all areas of municipal users. All cities are faced with the same challenges, but have different options for how they prioritize their water resources. The principal means of sustainable water management include recovery, recharge, reuse, and increasing the efficiency of water delivery. Other strategies that have been adopted include harvesting of rainwater, building codes that promote efficient water use, tiered water rates, turf removal programs, residential water auditing, and native plant promotion. Creating a sustainable future for the southwest will best be achieved by cities that adopt an integrated approach to managing their water resources including discouraging discretionary uses of water, adoption of building and construction codes for master plans, industrial plants, and residential construction. Additionally, a robust plan for education of the public is essential to create a culture of conservation from a very young age.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Climate resilience and vulnerability of the Salt River Project reservoir system, present and future

Description

Water resource systems have provided vital support to transformative growth in the Southwest United States; and for more than a century the Salt River Project (SRP) has served as a

Water resource systems have provided vital support to transformative growth in the Southwest United States; and for more than a century the Salt River Project (SRP) has served as a model of success among multipurpose federal reclamation projects, currently delivering approximately 40% of water demand in the metropolitan Phoenix area. Drought concerns have sensitized water management to risks posed by natural variability and forthcoming climate change.

Full simulations originating in climate modeling have been the conventional approach to impacts assessment. But, once debatable climate projections are applied to hydrologic models challenged to accurately represent the region’s arid hydrology, the range of possible scenarios enlarges as uncertainties propagate through sequential levels of modeling complexity. Numerous issues render future projections frustratingly uncertain, leading many researchers to conclude it will be some decades before hydroclimatic modeling can provide specific and useful information to water management.

Alternatively, this research investigation inverts the standard approach to vulnerability assessment and begins with characterization of the threatened system, proceeding backwards to the uncertain climate future. Thorough statistical analysis of historical watershed climate and runoff enabled development of (a) a stochastic simulation methodology for net basin supply (NBS) that renders the entire range of droughts, and (b) hydrologic sensitivities to temperature and precipitation changes. An operations simulation model was developed for assessing the SRP reservoir system’s cumulative response to inflow variability and change. After analysis of the current system’s drought response, a set of climate change forecasts for the balance of this century were developed and translated through hydrologic sensitivities to drive alternative NBS time series assessed by reservoir operations modeling.

Statistically significant changes in key metrics were found for climate change forecasts, but the risk of reservoir depletion was found to remain zero. System outcomes fall within ranges to which water management is capable of responding. Actions taken to address natural variability are likely to be the same considered for climate change adaptation. This research approach provides specific risk assessments per unambiguous methods grounded in observational evidence in contrast to the uncertain projections thus far prepared for the region.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Understanding the people affecting and affected by urban environmental change: the consideration of resource sustainability and social equity together

Description

This dissertation combines three research projects to examine the people affecting and affected by urban environmental change across multiple scales of decision making. In the Phoenix Metropolitan area and the

This dissertation combines three research projects to examine the people affecting and affected by urban environmental change across multiple scales of decision making. In the Phoenix Metropolitan area and the Colorado River Basin, I study the social influence around the implementation of water use innovations among city-level stakeholders (Chapter 2) and I emphasize that water insecurity still exists in wealthy cities (Chapter 3). In Chapter 4, I ultimately consider grassroots solutions for achieving resource security alongside positive social change in a historically underserved community. In this dissertation, I have conceptualized my research questions by envisioning urban change as an opportunity for actors, at multiple scales, to simultaneously reduce resource waste and promote positive social change.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Reassembling hydrosocial metabolic relations: a political ecology of water struggles in Chile

Description

This research investigates the dialectical relationships between water and social power. I analyze how the coupled processes of development, water privatization, and climate change have been shaping water struggles in

This research investigates the dialectical relationships between water and social power. I analyze how the coupled processes of development, water privatization, and climate change have been shaping water struggles in Chile. I focus on how these hydro-struggles are reconfiguring everyday practices of water management at the community scale and the ways in which these dynamics may contribute to more democratic and sustainable modes of water governance at both regional and national scales. Using a historical-geographical and multi-sited ethnographical lens, I investigate how different geographical projects (forestry, irrigated agriculture, and hydropower) were deployed in the Biobio and Santiago regions of Chile during the last 200 hundred years. I analyze how since the 1970s, these hydro-modernization projects have been gradually privatized, which in turn has led to environmental degradation and water dispossession affecting peasants and other rural populations. I frame these transformations using the political-ecological notion of hydrosocial assemblages produced by the different stages of the hydro-modernity—Liberal, Keynesian, Socialist, Neoliberal. I detail how these stages have repeatedly reshaped Chilean hydrosocial processes. I unpack the stages through the analysis of forestry, irrigation and hydropower developments in the central and southern regions of Chile, emphasizing how they have produced both uneven socio-spatial development and growing hydrosocial metabolic rifts, particularly during neoliberal hydro-modernity (1981-2015). Hydrosocial metabolic rifts occur when people have been separated or dispossessed from direct access and control of their traditional water resources. I conclude by arguing that there is a need to overcome the current unsustainable market-led approach to water governance. I propose the notion of a 'commons hydro-modernity', which is based on growing environmental and water social movements that are promoting a socio-spatial project to reassemble Chilean hydrosocial metabolic relations in a more democratic and sustainable way.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Development of optimization models for regional wastewater and storm water systems with application in the Jizan region, Saudi Arabia

Description

Imagine you live in a place without any storm water or wastewater systems!

Wastewater and storm water systems are two of the most crucial systems for urban infrastructure. Water resources

Imagine you live in a place without any storm water or wastewater systems!

Wastewater and storm water systems are two of the most crucial systems for urban infrastructure. Water resources have become more limited and expensive in arid and semi-arid regions. According to the fourth World Water Development Report, over 80% of global wastewater is released into the environment without adequate treatment. Wastewater collection and treatment systems in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) covers about 49% of urban areas; about 25% of treated wastewater is used for landscape and crop irrigation (Ministry of Environment Water and Agriculture [MEWA], 2017). According to Guizani (2016), during each event of flooding, there are fatalities. In 2009, the most deadly flood occurred in Jeddah, KSA within more than 160 lives lost. As a consequence, KSA has set a goal to provide 100% sewage collection and treatment services to every city with a population above 5000 by 2025, where all treated wastewater will be used.

This research explores several optimization models of planning and designing collection systems, such as regional wastewater and stormwater systems, in order to understand and overcome major performance-related disadvantages and high capital costs. The first model (M-1) was developed for planning regional wastewater system, considering minimum costs of location, type, and size sewer network and wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The second model (M-2) was developed for designing a regional wastewater system, considering minimum hydraulic design costs, such as pump stations, commercial diameters, excavation costs, and WWTPs. Both models were applied to the Jizan region, KSA.

The third model (M-3) was developed to solve layout and pipe design for storm water systems simultaneously. This model was applied to four different case scenarios, using two approaches for commercial diameters. The fourth model (M-4) was developed to solve the optimum pipe design of a storm sewer system for given layouts. However, M-4 was applied to a storm sewer network published in the literature.

M-1, M-2, and M-3 were developed in the general algebraic modeling system (GAMS) program, which was formulated as a mixed integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) solver, while M-4 was formulated as a nonlinear programming (NLP) procedure.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Quantifying the hydro-economic dependencies of US cities: development of the national water economy database

Description

Cities are, at once, a habitat for humans, a center of economic production, a direct consumer of natural resources in the local environment, and an indirect consumer of natural resources

Cities are, at once, a habitat for humans, a center of economic production, a direct consumer of natural resources in the local environment, and an indirect consumer of natural resources at regional, national, and global scales. These processes do not take place in isolation: rather they are nested within complex coupled natural-human (CNH) systems that have nearby and distant teleconnections. Infrastructure systems—roads, electrical grids, pipelines, damns, and aqueducts, to name a few—have been built to convey and store these resources from their point of origin to their point of consumption. Traditional hard infrastructure systems are complemented by soft infrastructure, such as governance, legal, economic, and social systems, which rely upon the conveyance of information and currency rather than a physical commodity, creating teleconnections that link multiple CNH systems. The underlying structure of these systems allows for the creation of novel network methodologies to study the interdependencies, feedbacks, and timescales between direct and indirect resource consumers and producers; to identify potential vulnerabilities within the system; and to model the configuration of ideal system states. Direct and indirect water consumption provides an ideal indicator for such study because water risk is highly location-based in terms of geography, climate, economics, and cultural norms and is manifest at multiple geographic scales. Taken together, the CNH formed by economic trade and indirect water exchange networks create hydro-economic networks. Given the importance of hydro-economic networks for human well-being and economic production, this dissertation answers the overarching research question: What information do we gain from analyzing virtual water trade at the systems level rather than the component city level? Three studies are presented with case studies pertaining to the State of Arizona. The first derives a robust methodology to disaggregate indirect water flows to subcounty geographies. The second creates city-level metrics of hydro-economic vulnerability and functional diversity. The third analyzes the physical, legal, and economic allocation of a shared river basin to identify vulnerable nodes in river basin hydro-economic networks. This dissertation contributes to the literature through the creation of novel metrics to measure hydro-economic network properties and to generate insight into potential US hydro-economic shocks.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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A comparative assessment of community water system vulnerability to water scarcity in Buckeye and Cave Creek, Arizona

Description

With the ongoing drought surpassing a decade in Arizona, scholars, water managers and decision-makers have heightened attention to the availability of water resources, especially in rapidly growing regions where demand

With the ongoing drought surpassing a decade in Arizona, scholars, water managers and decision-makers have heightened attention to the availability of water resources, especially in rapidly growing regions where demand may outgrow supplies or outpace the capacity of the community water systems. Community water system managing entities and the biophysical and social characteristics of a place mediate communities' vulnerability to hazards such as drought and long-term climate change. The arid southwestern Phoenix metropolitan area is illustrative of the challenges that developed urban areas in arid climates face globally as population growth and climate change stress already fragile human-environmental systems. This thesis reveals the factors abating and exacerbating differential community water system vulnerability to water scarcity in communities simultaneously facing drought and rapid peri-urban growth. Employing a grounded, qualitative comparative case study approach, this thesis explores the interaction of social, biophysical and institutional factors as they effect the exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity of community water systems in Cave Creek and Buckeye, Arizona. Buckeye, once a small agricultural town in the West Valley, is wholly dependent on groundwater and currently planning for massive development to accommodate 218,591 new residents by 2020. Amid desert hills and near Tonto National Forest in the North Valley, Cave Creek is an upscale residential community suffering frequent water outages due to aging infrastructure and lack of system redundancy. Analyzing interviews, media accounts and policy documents, a narrative was composed explaining how place based factors, nested within a regional institutional water management framework, impact short and long-term vulnerability. This research adds to the library of vulnerability assessments completed using Polsky et al.'s Vulnerability Scoping Diagram and serves a pragmatic need assisting in the development of decision making tools that better represent the drivers of placed based vulnerability in arid metropolitan regions.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Sustainability principles and the future of Phoenix, Arizona: framing the Salt River's urban waterway redevelopment

Description

As urban populations rapidly increase in an era of climate change and multiple social and environmental uncertainties, scientists and governments are cultivating knowledge and solutions for the sustainable growth and

As urban populations rapidly increase in an era of climate change and multiple social and environmental uncertainties, scientists and governments are cultivating knowledge and solutions for the sustainable growth and maintenance of cities. Although substantial literature focuses on urban water resource management related to both human and ecological sustainability, few studies assess the unique role of waterway restorations to bridge anthropocentric and ecological concerns in urban environments. To address this gap, my study addressed if well-established sustainability principles are evoked during the nascent discourse of recently proposed urban waterway developments along over fifty miles of Arizona’s Salt River. In this study, a deductive content analysis is used to illuminate the emergence of sustainability principles, the framing of the redevelopment, and to illuminate macro-environmental discourses. Three sustainability principles dominated the discourse: civility and democratic governance; livelihood sufficiency and opportunity; and social-ecological system integrity. These three principles connected to three macro-discourses: economic rationalism; democratic pragmatism; and ecological modernity. These results hold implications for policy and theory and inform urban development processes for improvements to sustainability. As continued densification, in-fill and rapid urbanization continues in the 21st century, more cities are looking to reconstruct urban riverways. Therefore, the emergent sustainability discourse regarding potential revitalizations along Arizona’s Salt River is a manifestation of how waterways are perceived, valued, and essential to urban environments for anthropocentric and ecological needs.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019