Matching Items (22)

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Stakeholder Analysis for the Food-Energy-Water Nexus in Phoenix, Arizona: Implications for Nexus Governance

Description

Understanding the food-energy-water nexus is necessary to identify risks and inform strategies for nexus governance to support resilient, secure, and sustainable societies. To manage risks and realize efficiencies, we must

Understanding the food-energy-water nexus is necessary to identify risks and inform strategies for nexus governance to support resilient, secure, and sustainable societies. To manage risks and realize efficiencies, we must understand not only how these systems are physically connected but also how they are institutionally linked. It is important to understand how actors who make planning, management, and policy decisions understand the relationships among components of the systems. Our question is: How do stakeholders involved in food, energy, and water governance in Phoenix, Arizona understand the nexus and what are the implications for integrated nexus governance? We employ a case study design, generate qualitative data through focus groups and interviews, and conduct a content analysis. While stakeholders in the Phoenix area who are actively engaged in food, energy, and water systems governance appreciate the rationale for nexus thinking, they recognize practical limitations to implementing these concepts. Concept maps of nexus interactions provide one view of system interconnections that be used to complement other ways of knowing the nexus, such as physical infrastructure system diagrams or actor-networks. Stakeholders believe nexus governance could be improved through awareness and education, consensus and collaboration, transparency, economic incentives, working across scales, and incremental reforms.

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Date Created
  • 2017-11-29

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Navigating a Murky Adaptive Comanagement Governance Network: Agua Fria Watershed, Arizona, USA

Description

Adaptive comanagement endeavors to increase knowledge and responsiveness in the face of uncertainty and complexity. However, when collaboration between agency and nonagency stakeholders is mandated, rigid institutions may hinder participation

Adaptive comanagement endeavors to increase knowledge and responsiveness in the face of uncertainty and complexity. However, when collaboration between agency and nonagency stakeholders is mandated, rigid institutions may hinder participation and ecological outcomes. In this case study we analyzed qualitative data to understand how participants perceive strengths and challenges within an emerging adaptive comanagement in the Agua Fria Watershed in Arizona, USA that utilizes insight and personnel from a long-enduring comanagement project, Las Cienegas. Our work demonstrates that general lessons and approaches from one project may be transferable, but particular institutions, management structures, or projects must be place-specific. As public agencies establish and expand governance networks throughout the western United States, our case study has shed light on how to maintain a shared vision and momentum within an inherently murky and shared decision-making environment.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Modeling the distributed effects of forest thinning on the long-term water balance and streamflow extremes for a semi-arid basin in the southwestern US

Description

To achieve water resource sustainability in the water-limited southwestern US, it is critical to understand the potential effects of proposed forest thinning on the hydrology of semi-arid basins, where disturbances

To achieve water resource sustainability in the water-limited southwestern US, it is critical to understand the potential effects of proposed forest thinning on the hydrology of semi-arid basins, where disturbances to headwater catchments can cause significant changes in the local water balance components and basinwise streamflows. In Arizona, the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) is being developed with the goal of restoring 2.4 million acres of ponderosa pine along the Mogollon Rim. Using the physically based, spatially distributed triangulated irregular network (TIN)-based Real-time Integrated Basin Simulator (tRIBS) model, we examine the potential impacts of the 4FRI on the hydrology of Tonto Creek, a basin in the Verde–Tonto–Salt (VTS) system, which provides much of the water supply for the Phoenix metropolitan area. Long-term (20-year) simulations indicate that forest removal can trigger significant shifts in the spatiotemporal patterns of various hydrological components, causing increases in net radiation, surface temperature, wind speed, soil evaporation, groundwater recharge and runoff, at the expense of reductions in interception and shading, transpiration, vadose zone moisture and snow water equivalent, with south-facing slopes being more susceptible to enhanced atmospheric losses. The net effect will likely be increases in mean and maximum streamflow, particularly during El Niño events and the winter months, and chiefly for those scenarios in which soil hydraulic conductivity has been significantly reduced due to thinning operations. In this particular climate, forest thinning can lead to net loss of surface water storage by vegetation and snowpack, increasing the vulnerability of ecosystems and populations to larger and more frequent hydrologic extreme conditions on these semi-arid systems.

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Date Created
  • 2016-03-29

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Towards Water Sensitive Cities in the Colorado River Basin: A Comparative Historical Analysis to Inform Future Urban Water Sustainability Transitions

Description

Many population centers in the American West rely on water from the Colorado River Basin, which has faced shortages in recent years that are anticipated to be exacerbated by climate

Many population centers in the American West rely on water from the Colorado River Basin, which has faced shortages in recent years that are anticipated to be exacerbated by climate change. Shortages to urban water supplies related to climate change will not be limited to cities dependent on the Colorado River. Considering this, addressing sustainable water governance is timely and critical for cities, states, and regions facing supply shortages and pollution problems. Engaging in sustainability transitions of these hydro-social systems will increase the ability of such systems to meet the water needs of urban communities. In this paper, we identify historical transitions in water governance and examine their context for three sites in the Colorado River Basin (Denver, Colorado, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona) to provide insight for intentional transitions towards sustainable, or “water sensitive” cities. The comparative historical approach employed allows us to more fully understand differences in present-day water governance decisions between the sites, identify past catalysts for transitions, and recognize emerging patterns and opportunities that may impact current and future water governance in the Colorado River Basin and beyond.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05-06

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De jure versus de facto institutions: trust, information, and collective efforts to manage the invasive mile-a-minute weed (Mikania micrantha)

Description

Differences in governance relationships and community efforts to remove an exotic, rapidly spreading invasive plant, the-mile-a-minute weed (Mikania micrantha), are explored in five case study community forests in the subtropical

Differences in governance relationships and community efforts to remove an exotic, rapidly spreading invasive plant, the-mile-a-minute weed (Mikania micrantha), are explored in five case study community forests in the subtropical region of Chitwan, Nepal. An institutional analysis informs an examination of the de jure (formal) versus de facto (on the ground) institutions and actor relationships relevant to Mikania removal efforts. Contrary to the expectations set by the de jure situation, we find heterogeneous governance relationships and norms related to Mikania management across community forests. Content analysis of interview data illuminates reoccurring themes and their implications for social and ecological outcomes in the communities. Complex governance relationships and regular discussion of distrust of government and non-government officials help explain collective action efforts and management decisions. The content analysis suggests that Mikania is impacting people’s daily lives but the degree of severity and the response to the disruption varies substantially and is heavily affected by other problems experienced by community forest members. Our results indicate that understanding how the de facto, or on the ground situation, differs from the de jure institutions may be vital in structuring successful efforts to manage invasive species and understanding collective action problems related to other social-ecological threats. We present data-informed propositions about common pool resource management and invasive species. This study contributes to a better scientific understanding of how institutions mediate social-ecological challenges influencing common pool resources more broadly.

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Date Created
  • 2017-03-06

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Decision-Making under Uncertainty for Water Sustainability and Urban Climate Change Adaptation

Description

Complexities and uncertainties surrounding urbanization and climate change complicate water resource sustainability. Although research has examined various aspects of complex water systems, including uncertainties, relatively few attempts have been made

Complexities and uncertainties surrounding urbanization and climate change complicate water resource sustainability. Although research has examined various aspects of complex water systems, including uncertainties, relatively few attempts have been made to synthesize research findings in particular contexts. We fill this gap by examining the complexities, uncertainties, and decision processes for water sustainability and urban adaptation to climate change in the case study region of Phoenix, Arizona. In doing so, we integrate over a decade of research conducted by Arizona State University’s Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC). DCDC is a boundary organization that conducts research in collaboration with policy makers, with the goal of informing decision-making under uncertainty. Our results highlight: the counterintuitive, non-linear, and competing relationships in human–environment dynamics; the myriad uncertainties in climatic, scientific, political, and other domains of knowledge and practice; and, the social learning that has occurred across science and policy spheres. Finally, we reflect on how our interdisciplinary research and boundary organization has evolved over time to enhance adaptive and sustainable governance in the face of complex system dynamics.

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Date Created
  • 2015-11-04

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Hard paths, soft paths or no paths? Cross-cultural perceptions of water solutions

Description

In this study, we examine how development status and water scarcity shape people's perceptions of "hard path" and "soft path" water solutions. Based on ethnographic research conducted in four semi-rural/peri-urban

In this study, we examine how development status and water scarcity shape people's perceptions of "hard path" and "soft path" water solutions. Based on ethnographic research conducted in four semi-rural/peri-urban sites (in Bolivia, Fiji, New Zealand, and the US), we use content analysis to conduct statistical and thematic comparisons of interview data. Our results indicate clear differences associated with development status and, to a lesser extent, water scarcity. People in the two less developed sites were more likely to suggest hard path solutions, less likely to suggest soft path solutions, and more likely to see no path to solutions than people in the more developed sites. Thematically, people in the two less developed sites envisioned solutions that involve small-scale water infrastructure and decentralized, community-based solutions, while people in the more developed sites envisioned solutions that involve large-scale infrastructure and centralized, regulatory water solutions. People in the two water-scarce sites were less likely to suggest soft path solutions and more likely to see no path to solutions (but no more likely to suggest hard path solutions) than people in the water-rich sites. Thematically, people in the two water-rich sites seemed to perceive a wider array of unrealized potential soft path solutions than those in the water-scarce sites. On balance, our findings are encouraging in that they indicate that people are receptive to soft path solutions in a range of sites, even those with limited financial or water resources. Our research points to the need for more studies that investigate the social feasibility of soft path water solutions, particularly in sites with significant financial and natural resource constraints.

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Date Created
  • 2014-01-13

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The Future of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area: An Analysis of the Socioeconomic Implications of Desert, Green, or Expanded Cities

Description

As inhabitants of a desert, a sustainable water source has always been and will continue to be a crucial component in developing the cities Arizonans call home. Phoenix and the

As inhabitants of a desert, a sustainable water source has always been and will continue to be a crucial component in developing the cities Arizonans call home. Phoenix and the surrounding municipalities make up a large metropolitan area that continues to grow in spatial size and population. However, as climate change becomes more of an evident challenge, Arizona is forced to plan and make decisions regarding its ability to safely and efficiently maintain its livelihood and/or growth. With the effects of climate change in mind, Arizona will need to continue to innovatively and proactively address issues of water management and the effects of urban heat island (UHI). The objective of this thesis was to study the socioeconomic impacts of four extreme scenarios of the future Phoenix metropolitan area. Each of the scenarios showcased a different hypothetical extreme and uniquely impacted factors related to water management and UHI. The four scenarios were a green city, desert city, expanded city into desert land, and expanded city into agricultural land. These four scenarios were designed to emphasize different aspects of the urban water-energy-population nexus, as the future of the Phoenix metropolitan area is dynamic. Primarily, the Green City and Desert City served as contrasting viewpoints on UHI and water sustainability. The Expanded Cities showed the influence of population growth and land use on water sustainability. The socioeconomic impacts of the four scenarios were then analyzed. The quantitative data of the report was completed using the online user interface of WaterSim 5.0 (a program created by the Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC) at Arizona State University). The different scenarios were modeled in the program by adjusting various demand and supply oriented factors. The qualitative portion as well as additional quantitative data was acquired through an extensive literature review. It was found that changing land use has direct water use implications; agricultural land overtaken for municipal uses can sustain a population for longer. Though, removing agricultural lands has both social and economic implications, and can actually cause the elimination of an emergency source. Moreover, it was found that outdoor water use and reclaimed wastewater can impact water sustainability. Practices that decrease outdoor water use and increase wastewater reclamation are currently occurring; however, these practices could be augmented. Both practices require changes in the publics' opinions on water use, nevertheless, the technology and policy exists and can be intensified to become more water sustainable. While the scenarios studied were hypothetical cases of the future of the Phoenix metropolitan area, they identified important circumscribing measures and practices that influence the Valley's water resources.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Reducing Livestock-based Emissions in Argentina: Analyzing Climate Change Mitigation Strategies through Policy and Governance in the Agricultural Sector

Description

Intensive global animal agricultural practices have proved to be a cause for concern, resulting, in part, from consumer preferences and an increasing global demand for protein, especially meat. Countries like

Intensive global animal agricultural practices have proved to be a cause for concern, resulting, in part, from consumer preferences and an increasing global demand for protein, especially meat. Countries like Argentina, contribute to Greenhouse Gas emissions substantially through their livestock sector. Improved resource management can help to promote sustainable agriculture by reducing the amount of water and energy used to produce livestock, and improve livestock practices in order to reduce GHG emissions. The integration of resource management between food, energy, and water systems can help to decrease livestock-based emissions, through efficiency improvements targeted towards animal agricultural practices. This paper can act as a reference for other researchers studying the FEW nexus, to increase their understanding of how to improve coordination across water, energy, and agricultural sectors by using Argentina’s livestock sector as an example. Furthermore, policy and decision makers in Argentina can use information about FEW systems to make informed decisions about the allocation and prioritization of integrated management between food, energy, and water sectors, to help them implement integrated mitigation strategies within their livestock sector to help reduce GHG emissions.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-12

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Spatial Distribution of Extreme Rainfall Associated with the Monsoon Season of 2014 in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area

Description

The storm events of summer 2014 proved to be some of the highest on record for Maricopa County. Flash flooding has been an ongoing issue within Arizona during the monsoon

The storm events of summer 2014 proved to be some of the highest on record for Maricopa County. Flash flooding has been an ongoing issue within Arizona during the monsoon season due to the remnants of hurricanes that result in short, high intensity storms. The proximity of these intense storm events and their corresponding flooding structures is imperative in reducing the impact of these events on the community. The analysis of the maximum precipitation events for Tempe, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Goodyear, Peoria, Avondale and Glendale during the summer of 2014 proved that there were many events that had a calculated recurrence of 100 years or greater. The storm event with the most precipitation events with a recurrence of 100 years or greater was September 8, 2014. This storm event also produced a streamflow response that had the highest recorded streamflow at gages near the events with a 100 year recurrence. These intervals represent a larger amount of rain during a precipitation event and this correlation suggests that short burst of extreme weather was not a trend in this data. Rather, high storm events occurred over the span of 24 hours. The most frequent response of the stream gage to this rain event was a streamflow event that has a recurrence of 2-5 years. This suggests that the channels and flooding structures used to contain the rain events were effective in reducing the amount of water and therefore effectively managing the flooding response. An analysis of newspaper commentary and an interview with a representative from the Flood Control District of Maricopa County (FCDMC) indicated that there is a disconnect between public perception and the structure of FCDMC. Through this analysis a better understanding of the FCDMC as well as the impact of severe storm events in Maricopa County was found.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05