Vulnerability of water systems to the effects of climate change and urbanization: A comparison of phoenix, Arizona and Portland, Oregon (USA)

Kelli Larson, Colin Polsky, Patricia Gober, Heejun Chang, Vivek Shandas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The coupled processes of climate change and urbanization pose challenges for water resource management in cities worldwide. Comparing the vulnerabilities of water systems in Phoenix, Arizona and Portland, Oregon, this paper examines (1) exposures to these stressors, (2) sensitivities to the associated impacts, and (3) adaptive capacities for responding to realized or anticipated impacts. Based on a case study and survey-based approach, common points of vulnerability include: rising exposures to drier, warmer summers, and suburban growth; increasing sensitivities based on demand hardening; and limited capacities due to institutional and pro-growth pressures. Yet each region also exhibits unique vulnerabilities. Comparatively, Portland shows: amplified exposures to seasonal climatic extremes, heightened sensitivity based on less diversified municipal water sources and policies that favor more trees and other irrigated vegetation, and diminished adaptive capacities because of limited attention to demand management and climate planning for water resources. Phoenix exhibits elevated exposure from rapid growth, heightened sensitivities due to high water demands and widespread increases in residential and commercial uses, and limited adaptive capacities due to weak land use planning and "smart growth" strategies. Unique points of vulnerability suggest pathways for adapting to urban-environmental change, whether through water management or land planning. Greater coordination between the land and water sectors would substantially reduce vulnerabilities in the study regions and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-195
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Management
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Fingerprint

Climate change
urbanization
vulnerability
climate change
Water resources
Planning
Water
water
Water management
Land use
Hardening
land use planning
water demand
hardening
water management
environmental change
water resource
effect
comparison
exposure

Keywords

  • Adaptive capacity
  • Climate change
  • Urban sustainability
  • Vulnerability
  • Water management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Pollution

Cite this

Vulnerability of water systems to the effects of climate change and urbanization : A comparison of phoenix, Arizona and Portland, Oregon (USA). / Larson, Kelli; Polsky, Colin; Gober, Patricia; Chang, Heejun; Shandas, Vivek.

In: Environmental Management, Vol. 52, No. 1, 07.2013, p. 179-195.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{ad64a2864ad5427594250f1bfe009922,
title = "Vulnerability of water systems to the effects of climate change and urbanization: A comparison of phoenix, Arizona and Portland, Oregon (USA)",
abstract = "The coupled processes of climate change and urbanization pose challenges for water resource management in cities worldwide. Comparing the vulnerabilities of water systems in Phoenix, Arizona and Portland, Oregon, this paper examines (1) exposures to these stressors, (2) sensitivities to the associated impacts, and (3) adaptive capacities for responding to realized or anticipated impacts. Based on a case study and survey-based approach, common points of vulnerability include: rising exposures to drier, warmer summers, and suburban growth; increasing sensitivities based on demand hardening; and limited capacities due to institutional and pro-growth pressures. Yet each region also exhibits unique vulnerabilities. Comparatively, Portland shows: amplified exposures to seasonal climatic extremes, heightened sensitivity based on less diversified municipal water sources and policies that favor more trees and other irrigated vegetation, and diminished adaptive capacities because of limited attention to demand management and climate planning for water resources. Phoenix exhibits elevated exposure from rapid growth, heightened sensitivities due to high water demands and widespread increases in residential and commercial uses, and limited adaptive capacities due to weak land use planning and {"}smart growth{"} strategies. Unique points of vulnerability suggest pathways for adapting to urban-environmental change, whether through water management or land planning. Greater coordination between the land and water sectors would substantially reduce vulnerabilities in the study regions and beyond.",
keywords = "Adaptive capacity, Climate change, Urban sustainability, Vulnerability, Water management",
author = "Kelli Larson and Colin Polsky and Patricia Gober and Heejun Chang and Vivek Shandas",
year = "2013",
month = "7",
doi = "10.1007/s00267-013-0072-2",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "52",
pages = "179--195",
journal = "Environmental Management",
issn = "0364-152X",
publisher = "Springer New York",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Vulnerability of water systems to the effects of climate change and urbanization

T2 - A comparison of phoenix, Arizona and Portland, Oregon (USA)

AU - Larson, Kelli

AU - Polsky, Colin

AU - Gober, Patricia

AU - Chang, Heejun

AU - Shandas, Vivek

PY - 2013/7

Y1 - 2013/7

N2 - The coupled processes of climate change and urbanization pose challenges for water resource management in cities worldwide. Comparing the vulnerabilities of water systems in Phoenix, Arizona and Portland, Oregon, this paper examines (1) exposures to these stressors, (2) sensitivities to the associated impacts, and (3) adaptive capacities for responding to realized or anticipated impacts. Based on a case study and survey-based approach, common points of vulnerability include: rising exposures to drier, warmer summers, and suburban growth; increasing sensitivities based on demand hardening; and limited capacities due to institutional and pro-growth pressures. Yet each region also exhibits unique vulnerabilities. Comparatively, Portland shows: amplified exposures to seasonal climatic extremes, heightened sensitivity based on less diversified municipal water sources and policies that favor more trees and other irrigated vegetation, and diminished adaptive capacities because of limited attention to demand management and climate planning for water resources. Phoenix exhibits elevated exposure from rapid growth, heightened sensitivities due to high water demands and widespread increases in residential and commercial uses, and limited adaptive capacities due to weak land use planning and "smart growth" strategies. Unique points of vulnerability suggest pathways for adapting to urban-environmental change, whether through water management or land planning. Greater coordination between the land and water sectors would substantially reduce vulnerabilities in the study regions and beyond.

AB - The coupled processes of climate change and urbanization pose challenges for water resource management in cities worldwide. Comparing the vulnerabilities of water systems in Phoenix, Arizona and Portland, Oregon, this paper examines (1) exposures to these stressors, (2) sensitivities to the associated impacts, and (3) adaptive capacities for responding to realized or anticipated impacts. Based on a case study and survey-based approach, common points of vulnerability include: rising exposures to drier, warmer summers, and suburban growth; increasing sensitivities based on demand hardening; and limited capacities due to institutional and pro-growth pressures. Yet each region also exhibits unique vulnerabilities. Comparatively, Portland shows: amplified exposures to seasonal climatic extremes, heightened sensitivity based on less diversified municipal water sources and policies that favor more trees and other irrigated vegetation, and diminished adaptive capacities because of limited attention to demand management and climate planning for water resources. Phoenix exhibits elevated exposure from rapid growth, heightened sensitivities due to high water demands and widespread increases in residential and commercial uses, and limited adaptive capacities due to weak land use planning and "smart growth" strategies. Unique points of vulnerability suggest pathways for adapting to urban-environmental change, whether through water management or land planning. Greater coordination between the land and water sectors would substantially reduce vulnerabilities in the study regions and beyond.

KW - Adaptive capacity

KW - Climate change

KW - Urban sustainability

KW - Vulnerability

KW - Water management

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84879841118&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84879841118&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00267-013-0072-2

DO - 10.1007/s00267-013-0072-2

M3 - Article

C2 - 23694972

AN - SCOPUS:84879841118

VL - 52

SP - 179

EP - 195

JO - Environmental Management

JF - Environmental Management

SN - 0364-152X

IS - 1

ER -