Integrated Water and Land Planning as a Climate Adaption Strategy: Comparisons of Portland and Phoenix

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

The integration of water-resource management and land-use planning in major metropolitan areas of the US provides a unique and strategic opportunity to examine interactions between climate and society. Water demand is inextricably tied to current and future land-use patterns because a substantial amount of water used in the two regions is devoted to outdoor use (60 75% in Phoenix, 3545% in Portland). Metro Portland and Phoenix are increasingly vulnerable to water shortages from climate variability and change and rapid population growth, although they experience this vulnerability from the perspective of different climatic conditions, economies, public attitudes, and growth-management policies. We propose a program of research and outreach that links weather and climate data to land-use and water consumption patterns. The ultimate goal is to develop regional strategies for adapting proactively to the uncertainties of climate change. Specifically, we have the following objectives: (1a) establish statistical relationships between local-scale climate conditions and water consumption using structural time-series models, a stochastic weather generator, and Bayesian hierarchical methods; (1b) model water and energy fluxes at the neighborhood level, using the Local Scale Urban Meteorological Parameterization Scheme (LUMPS) model to investigate relationships among land cover, temperature change, and water consumption at the neighborhood-scale; (2) simulate the effects of long-term climate change, as predicted by different downscaled global climate change scenarios, on water demand; (3) identify hotspots of potential water-resource vulnerability or resilience under different combinations of urban growth and climate change using the Vulnerability Scoping Diagram (VSD); (4) consult early and often with regional water providers and land-use planners about research goals, methods, and data availability. Translate research results into usable and socially relevant decision tools for minimizing vulnerability to climate variability and change. To achieve these objectives, we incorporate both quantitative and qualitative information into a comprehensive framework (the VSD) using downscaled climate models, urban microclimatology, water-demand modeling, and interviews and workshops with decision makers. The PIs will collaborate with municipal water providers and planning agencies to refine research objectives and ensure that new knowledge is used for decision making. Expected benefits of the project include improved understanding of the relationships among water, climate, and land use as well as new strategies for more integrated water and land planning. We will disseminate findings to a broad audience of scientists, land and water managers, and the general public through workshops, a website, conference presentations, and peer-reviewed journal papers. Our study has broad implications for the urbanplanning and water-management fields, particularly in cities stressed by the dual challenges of rapid growth and climatic uncertainty.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date8/1/097/31/13

Funding

  • DOC: National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): $111,000.00

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