Water Resources Management

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 899–912 | Cite as

Outdoor Water Use as an Adaptation Problem: Insights from North American Cities

Article

Abstract

Recent efforts to influence the efficiency and timing of urban indoor water use through education, technology, conservation, reuse, economic incentives, and regulatory mechanisms have enabled many North American cities to accommodate population growth and buffer impacts of drought. It is unlikely that this approach will be equally successful into the future because the source of conservation will shift from indoor to outdoor use. Outdoor water is climate sensitive, difficult to measure, hard to predict, linked to other components of complex and dynamic urban resource systems, imbued with behavioral and cultural dimensions, and implicated in societal conflicts about climate risk, modern lifestyles, social justice, and future growth. Outdoor water conservation is not a traditional management problem focused on the water sector, assuming a stationary climate, and set aside from public debate. Instead, outdoor water is an adaptation problem, involving complex and uncertain system dynamics, the need for cross-sector coordination, strategies for dealing with climatic uncertainty, and mechanisms for engaging stakeholders with differing goals. This paper makes the case for treating outdoor water as an adaptation problem and offers a six-point strategy for how cities can better prepare their water systems for the uncertainties of climate and societal change.

Keywords

Outdoor water Climate adaptation Resilience Complex systems Vulnerability Public engagement 

References

  1. Abbott JK, Klaiber HA, Smith VK (2015) Economic Behavior, Market Signals and Urban Ecology. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 20959. Available at: http://www.nber.org/papers/w20959
  2. Arbués FM, García-Valiñas MA, Martínez-Espiñeira R (2003) Estimation of residential water demand: a state-of-the-art review. J Socio-Econ 32(1):81–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arnstein SR (1969) A ladder of citizen participation. J Am Inst Plann 35(4):216–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Balling Jr RC, Gober P (2007) Climate variability and residential water use in Phoenix. Arizona J Appl Meteor Climatol 46(7):1130–1137Google Scholar
  5. Bates S (2012) Bridging the governance gap: emerging strategies to integrate water and land use planning. Nat Resour J 52(1):61–97Google Scholar
  6. BBC Research & Consulting (2007) Water conservation awareness, attitudes, and behaviors. Arizona municipal water users association. Phoenix, AZGoogle Scholar
  7. Brunner RD (2010) Adaptive governance as a reform strategy. Policy Sci 43:301–341. doi:10.1007/s11077-010-9117-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Camacho AE (2009) Adapting governance to climate change: managing uncertainty through a learning infrastructure. Emory L J 59(1):1–77Google Scholar
  9. Chow WTL, Brazel AJ (2012) Assessing xeriscaping as a sustainable heat island mitigation approach for a desert city. Build Environ 47:170–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Christain-Smith J, Herberger M, Allen L (2012) Urban water demand in California to 2100: incorporating climate change. Pacific Institute Available at http://pacinst.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2014/04/2100-urban-water-efficiency.pdf
  11. Coomes P, Rockaway T, Rivard J, Kornstein B (2010) North American residential water usage trends since 1992. Denver, CO., Water Research Foundation Available at: http://www.waterrf.org/PublicReportLibrary/4031.pdf Google Scholar
  12. Coutts AM, Beringer J, Tapper NJ (2007) Impact of increasing urban density on local climate: spatial and temporal variations in the surface energy balance in Melbourne, Australia. J Appl Meteorol Climatol 46:477–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. DeOreo WB, Mayer PW, Martien L, Hayden M, Funk A, Kramer-Duffield M, Davis R, Henderson J, Raucher B, Gleick P, Heberger M (2011) California Single-family Water Use Efficiency Study. Aquacraft Water Engineering and Management, Boulder, CO. Available at: http//www.aquacraft.com/sites/default/files/pub/CalSF Water Study Report Body 120811.pdfGoogle Scholar
  14. Domene E, Saurí D (2006) Ubanisation and water consumption: influencing factors in the metropolitan region of Barcelona. Urban Stud 43(9):1605–1623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Duke JM, Ehemann RW, Mackenzie J (2002) The distributional effects of water quantity management strategies: a spatial analysis. Rev Reg Stud 32(1):19–35Google Scholar
  16. Dziegielewski B, Keifer JC (2010) Appropriate design and evaluation of water use and conservation metrics and benchmarks. J Am Water Works Assoc 102(6):1–15Google Scholar
  17. Folke C, Hahn T, Olsson P, Norberg J (2005) Adaptive governance of socio-ecological systems. Annu Rev Environ Resour 30:441–473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Frost D (2013) The water demand revolution. Plann 79(7):12–17Google Scholar
  19. Fuerth LS (2009) Foresight and anticipatory governance. Foresight 11(4):14–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gage E, Cooper DJ (2015) The influence of land cover, vertical structure and socioeconomic factors on outdoor water use in a western US city. Water Resour Manag 29:3877–3890CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gober P, Brazel AJ, Quay R, Myint S, Grossman-Clarke S, Miller A, Rossi S (2010) Using watered landscapes to manipulate urban heat island effects: how much water will it take to cool phoenix? J Am Plan Assoc 76(1):109–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gober P, Middel A, Brazel A, Myint S, Chang H, Duh J, House-Peters L (2012) Tradeoffs between water conservation and temperature amelioration in phoenix and Portland: implications for urban sustainability. Urban Geogr 33(7):1030–1054CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gober P, Larson KL, Quay R, Polsky C, Chang H, Shandas V (2013) Why land planners and water managers don’t talk to one another and why they Should! Soc Nat Resour 26(3):356–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Grafton RQ, Ward MB, To H, Kompas T (2011) Determinants of residential water consumption: Evidence and analysis from a 10 country household survey. Water Resour Res 47:W0853. doi:10.1029/2010WR009685 Google Scholar
  25. Hamin E, Gurran N (2009) Urban form and climate change: balancing adaptation and mitigation in the US and Australia. Habitat Int 33(3):238–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Harlan SL, Brazel AJ, Prashad L, Stefanov WL, Larsen L (2006) Neighborhood microclimates and vulnerability to heat stress. Soc Sci Med 63(11):2847–2863CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hewitt JA, Hanemann MJ (1995) A discrete/continuous choice approach to residential water demand under block rate pricing. Land Econ 71(2):173–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hill T, Polsky C (2007) Development and drought in suburbia: a mixed methods rapid assessment of vulnerability to drought in rainy Massachusetts. Environ Hazards 7(4):291–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hogue TS, Pincetl S (2015) Are you watering your lawn? Science 348(6241): 1319–1320. Available at. doi:10.1126/science.aaa6909
  30. Huitema D, Meijerink S (2010) Realizing water transitions: the role of policy entrepreneurs in water policy change. Ecol Soc 15(2):26Google Scholar
  31. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014) Summary for policymakers. In: Field CB, Barros VR, Dokken DJ, Mach KJ, Mastrandrea MD, Bilir TE, Chatterjee M, Ebi KL, Estrada YO, Genova RC, Girma B, Kissel ES, Levy AN, MacCracken S, Mastrandrea PR, White RR (eds) Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability part A: global and sectoral aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK Available at: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/ Google Scholar
  32. Jackson KT (1985) Crabgrass frontier: the suburbanization of the United States. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  33. Jenerette GD, Harlan SL, Brazel A, Jones N, Larsen L, Stefanov WL (2007) Regional relationships between surface temperature, vegetation, and human settlement in a rapidly urbanizing ecosystem. Landsc Ecol 22(3):353–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kiefer JC, Clayton JM, Dziegieleski B, Henderson J (2013) Analysis of changes in water use under regional climate change scenarios. Denver, CO., Water Research Foundation Available at: http://www.waterrf.org/Pages/Projects.aspx?PID=4263 Google Scholar
  35. Lach D, Ingram H, Rayner S (2005) Maintaining the status quo: how institutional norms and practices create conservative water organizations. Tex Law Rev 83(7):2027–2053Google Scholar
  36. Larson KL, Ibes DC, Wentz ED (2013) Identifying the water conservation potential of neighborhoods in Phoenix, AZ: an integrated socio-spatial approach. In: Lawrence P (ed) Geospatial Approaches to Urban Water Resources. Geotechnologies and the Environment Series: Planning and Socioeconomic Applications. Springer, New York, pp. 11–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lempert RJ, Popper SW, Bankes SC (2003) Shaping the next one hundred years: new methods for quantitative, long-term policy analysis. RAND Corporation, Santa MonicaGoogle Scholar
  38. Liu J, Dietz T, Carpenter SR, Alberti M, Folke C, Moran E, Pell AN, Deadman P, Kratz T, Lubchenco J, Ostrom E, Ouyang Z, Provencher W, Redman CL, Schneider SH, Taylor W (2007) Complexity of coupled human and natural systems. Science 317:1513–1516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mayer PW, DeOreo WG, Opitz EM, Kiefer JC, Davis WY, Dziegielewski B, Nelson J (1999) Residential end uses of water. American Water Works Association, Denver CO Available at: http://www.waterrf.org/PublicReportLibrary/RFR90781_1999_241A.pdf Google Scholar
  40. Miller, AQ (2011) Beyond billing: applications of meter technology for water resources and development planning. Presentation to the Metering, Billing, MDM America Meeting in Dallas, TX, April 18-21, 2011. Available at: https://www.google.com/#q=Adam+Q+Miller+Beyond+Billing
  41. Nagourney A, Healy J (2015) Drought frames economic divide of California. New York Times, April 26:2015 Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/27/us/drought-widens-economic-divide-for-californians.html Google Scholar
  42. Neel R, Sadalla E, Berlin A, Ledlow S, Neufeld S (2014) The social symbolism of water-conserving landscaping. J Environ Psychol 40:49–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Olmstead SM, Hanemann MW, Stavins RN (2007) Water demand under alternative price structures. J Environ Econ Manag 54:191–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Olmstead SM, Stavins RN (2009) Comparing price and non‐price approaches to urban water conservation. Water Resour Res 45(4). Available at: doi: 10.1029/2008WR007227
  45. Pahl-Wostl C (2002) Towards sustainability in the water sector: the importance of human actors and processes of social learning. Aquat Sci 64(4):394–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Pahl-Wostl C (2009) A conceptual framework for analysing adaptive capacity and multi-level learning processes in resource governance regimes. Glob Environ Chang 19:354–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pahl-Wostl C, Holtz G, Kastens B, Kneiper C (2010) Analyzing complex water governance regimes: the management and transition framework. Environ Sci Pol 13:571–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Pearson LJ, Coggan A, Proctor W, Smith, TF (2010) A Sustainable Decision Support Framework for Urban Water Management. Water Resour Manag 24:363–376. Available at: doi 10.1007/s11269-009-9450-1
  49. Quay R (2010) Anticipatory governance: a tool for climate change adaptation. J Am Plan Assoc 76(4):496–511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ramachandran M, Johnston RJ (2011) Quantitative restrictions and residential water demand: A spatial analysis of neighborhood. Working paper No. 2011–19. Clark University, Perkins Marsh Research Institute. Available at: https://www.clarku.edu/departments/marsh/news/WP2011-19.pdf
  51. Robbins P (2007) Lawn people: how grasses, weeds, and chemicals make us who we are. Temple University Press, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  52. Sailor DJ (2006) Mitigation of urban heat islands—recent progress and future prospects. Paper presented at the sixth symposium on the urban environment. American Meteorological Society, Atlanta, GA Available at: https://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_105264.htm Google Scholar
  53. Shandas V, Parandvash HG (2010) Integrating urban form and demographics in water-demand management: an empirical case study of Portland, Oregon. Environ Plann B 37(1):112–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Stabler LB, Martin CA, Brazel AJ (2005) Microclimates in a desert city were related to land use and vegetation index. Urban For Urban Green 3:137–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Stein BA, Staudt CA, Dubois MS, Enquist NS, Griffis C, Hansen R, Hellmann LJ, Lawler J, Nelson EJ, Pairis A (2013) Preparing for and managing change: climate adaptation for biodiversity and ecosystems. Front Ecol Environ 11:502–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Stone Jr B, Vargo J, Liu P, Habeeb B, DeLucia A, Marcus T, Hu Y, Russell A (2014) Avoided heat-related mortality through climate adaptation strategies in three US cities. PLoS One 9(6). Available at: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100852
  57. Tapsuwan S, Burton M, Mankad A, Tucker D, Greenbill M (2014) Adapting to less water:household willingness to pay for decentralized water systems in urban Australia. Water Resour Manag 28:1111–1125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Trenberth KE (2010) More knowledge, less certainty. Nat Clim Chang 21(Jan 2010):20–21. doi:10.1038/climate.2010.06 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Vickers A, Bracciano D (2014) Low-volume plumbing fixtures achieve water savings. Opflow 40(7):8–9 Available at: http://www.awwa.org/publications/opflow/abstract/articleid/46049779.aspx CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wentz EA, Gober P (2007) Determinants of small-area water consumption in the city of phoenix, Arizona USA. Water Resour Manag 21(4):1849–1186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wilby RL, Dessai S (2010) Robust adaptation to climate change. Weather 65(7):180–185. doi:10.1002/wea.543 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Winz I, Brierley G, Trowsdale S (2009) The use of system dynamics simulation in water resources management. Water Resour Manag 23:1301–1323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Worthington AC, Hoffman M (2008) An empirical survey of residential water demand modeling. J Econ Surv 22(5):842–871. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6419.2008.00551.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geographical Sciences and Urban PlanningArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Decision Center for a Desert CityArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  3. 3.School of SustainabilityArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

Personalised recommendations