Matching Items (14)

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Fostering collaboration through IT tools: an experimental study of public deliberation on water sustainability

Description

Most of challenges facing today's government cannot be resolved without collaborative efforts from multiple non-state stakeholders, organizations, and active participation from citizens. Collaborative governance has become an important form of management practice. Yet the success of this inclusive management approach

Most of challenges facing today's government cannot be resolved without collaborative efforts from multiple non-state stakeholders, organizations, and active participation from citizens. Collaborative governance has become an important form of management practice. Yet the success of this inclusive management approach depends on whether government agencies and all other involved parties can collectively deliberate and work toward the shared goals. This dissertation examines whether information technology (IT) tools and prior cooperative interactions can be used to facilitate the collaboration process, and how IT tools and prior cooperative interactions can, if at all, get citizens and communities more engaged in collaborative governance. It focuses on the individual and small groups engaged in deliberating on a local community problem, which is water sustainability in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Experiments were conducted to compare how people deliberate and interact with each other under different IT-facilitated deliberation environments and with different prehistory of interactions. The unique experimental site for this research is a designed deliberation space that can seat up to 25 participants surrounded by the immersive 260-degree seven-screen communal display. In total, 126 students from Arizona State University participated in the experiment. The experiment results show that the deliberation spaces can influence participants' engagement in the collaborative efforts toward collective goals. This dissertation demonstrates the great potential of well-designed IT-facilitated deliberation spaces for supporting policy deliberation and advancing collaborative governance. This dissertation provides practical suggestions for public managers and community leaders on how to design and develop the desired features of IT-facilitated interaction environments for face-to-face and computer-mediated online public deliberation activities. This dissertation also discusses lessons and strategies on how to build a stronger sense of community for promoting community-based efforts to achieve collective goals.

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Date Created
2011

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Sustainable water management in Ciudad Juarez

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ABSTRACT Water resources in many parts of the world are subject to increasing stress because of (a) the growth in demand caused by population increase and economic development, (b) threats to supply caused by climate and land cover change, and

ABSTRACT Water resources in many parts of the world are subject to increasing stress because of (a) the growth in demand caused by population increase and economic development, (b) threats to supply caused by climate and land cover change, and (c) a heightened awareness of the importance of maintaining water supplies to other parts of the ecosystem. An additional factor is the quality of water management. The United States-Mexican border provides an example of poor water management combined with increasing demand for water resources that are both scarce and uncertain. This dissertation focuses on the problem of water management in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. The city has attracted foreign investment during the last few decades, largely due to relatively low environmental and labor costs, and to a range of tax incentives and concessions. This has led to economic and population growth, but also to higher demand for public services such as water which leads to congestion and scarcity. In particular, as water resources have become scarce, the cost of water supply has increased. The dissertation analyzes the conditions that allow for the efficient use of water resources at sustainable levels of economic activity--i.e., employment and investment. In particular, it analyzes the water management strategies that lead to an efficient and sustainable use of water when the source of water is either an aquifer, or there is conjunctive use of ground and imported water. The first part of the dissertation constructs a model of the interactive effects of water supply, wage rates, inward migration of labor and inward investment of capital. It shows how growing water scarcity affects population growth through the impact it has on real wage rates, and how this erodes the comparative advantage of Ciudad Juarez--low wages--to the point where foreign investment stops. This reveals the very close connection between water management and the level of economic activity in Ciudad Juarez. The second part of the dissertation examines the effect of sustainable and efficient water management strategies on population and economic activity levels under two different settings. In the first Ciudad Juarez relies exclusively on ground water to meet demand--this reflects the current situation of Ciudad Juarez. In the second Ciudad Juarez is able both to import water and to draw on aquifers to meet demand. This situation is motivated by the fact that Ciudad Juarez is considering importing water from elsewhere to maintain its economic growth and mitigate the overdraft of the Bolson del Hueco aquifer. Both models were calibrated on data for Ciudad Juarez, and then used to run experiments with respect to different environmental and economic conditions, and different water management options. It is shown that for a given set of technological, institutional and environmental conditions, the way water is managed in a desert environment determines the long run equilibrium levels of employment, investment and output. It is also shown that the efficiency of water management is consistent with the sustainability of water use and economic activity. Importing water could allow the economy to operate at higher levels of activity than where it relies solely on local aquifers. However, at some scale, water availability will limit the level of economic activity, and the disposable income of the residents of Ciudad Juarez.

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Date Created
2011

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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 problem of unsustainable water governance in the Phoenix region of

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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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 rapid and exponential growth over the past 50 years. The

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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Date Created
2013

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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 may outgrow supplies or outpace the capacity of the community

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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Date Created
2011

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Whiskey is for drinking - water is for fighting over: population growth, infrastructure change, and conservation policy as drivers of residential water demand

Description

As urban populations grow, water managers are becoming increasingly concerned about water scarcity. Water managers once relied on developing new sources of water supply to manage scarcity but economically feasible sources of unclaimed water are now rare, leading to an

As urban populations grow, water managers are becoming increasingly concerned about water scarcity. Water managers once relied on developing new sources of water supply to manage scarcity but economically feasible sources of unclaimed water are now rare, leading to an increased interest in demand side management. Water managers in Las Vegas, Nevada have developed innovative demand side management strategies due to the cities rapid urbanization and limited water supply. Three questions are addressed. First, in the developed areas of the Las Vegas Valley Water District service areas, how did vegetation area change? To quantify changes in vegetation area, the Matched Filter Vegetation Index (MFVI) is developed from Mixture Tuned Match Filtering estimates of vegetation area calibrated against vegetation area estimates from high-resolution aerial photography. In the established city core, there was a small but significant decline in vegetation area. Second, how much of the observed decline in per capita consumption can be explained by Las Vegas land cover and physical infrastructure change that resulted from extensive new construction and new use of water conserving technology, and how much can be attributed to water conservation policy choices? A regression analysis is performed, followed by an analysis of three counter-factual scenarios to decompose reductions in household water into its constituent parts. The largest citywide drivers of change in water consumption were increased water efficiency associated with new construction and rapid population growth. In the established urban core, the most significant driver was declining vegetation area. Third, water savings generated by a conservation program that provides incentives for homeowners to convert grass into desert landscaping are estimated. In the city core, 82 gallons of water are saved in June for each square meter of landscape converted in the first year after conversion, but the savings attenuate to 33 gallons per meter converted as the landscape ages. Voluntary landscape conversion programs can generate substantial water savings. The most significant result is that the most effective way to ensure long term, sustainable reductions in water consumption in a growing city without changing water prices is to support the construction of water efficient infrastructure.

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Date Created
2014

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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 at regional, national, and global scales. These processes do not

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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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 Colorado River Basin, I study the social influence around 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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Date Created
2019

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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 have become more limited and expensive in arid and semi-arid

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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Date Created
2019