Triple exposure: Regulatory, climatic, and political drivers of water management changes in the city of Los Angeles

Sara Hughes, Stephanie Pincetl, Christopher Boone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


The city of Los Angeles has undergone a significant change in its approach to water management and service delivery in the last 30. years. These changes include a shift to local water resource development and more collaborative decision making. Drawing from ideas in the transitions and policy change literatures, we develop an exposure-based framework for explaining major change. We hypothesize that major change in the relationship between cities and the environment is driven by exposure to reinforcing climatic, regulatory and political shifts. Interviews with decision makers, managers, NGOs and academics are used to demonstrate how this triple exposure has led to major change in water management in Los Angeles in the last thirty years. While the changes are significant, there are remaining financial, political and institutional barriers to achieving the city's goals of greater water independence and collaborative decision making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-59
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jun 2013



  • Los Angeles
  • Policy change
  • Sustainability
  • Transition
  • Urban water management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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