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Public Perceptions of Urban Water Sustainability Transitions for the Colorado River Basin
April 5, 2018 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Cities dependent on Colorado River water, such as Phoenix, Denver, and Las Vegas, face significant sustainability challenges from multiple stressors including population growth, land-use change, drought, and climate change impacts. While researchers and policymakers increasingly call for societal transitions towards comprehensive urban water sustainability, much of the discussion has focused on management systems and not the role of urban residents. Few studies examine the impact of residents on water sustainability transitions, despite the significant role of public in enabling or constraining options. Our research addresses this gap by answering the questions: How does public support of transformational water management strategies and transitions vary across Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Denver? What factors influence public support for transitions and transformational strategies among the three cities, and what are the implications of those differences for urban water sustainability? Our research uses empirical results from a multi-city survey to inform theories of transitions across social, ecological, and technological systems and discuss implications for urban water management policy-making.
About the Speaker:
Dave White is Professor in the Arizona State University School of Community Resources and Development. His scholarship is focused on understanding and enhancing the linkages between science and policy for sustainability. White also serves as Director of the ASU Decision Center for a Desert City, which brings together scientists and stakeholders to develop transformational solutions for water sustainability transitions.Professor White is internationally-recognized for his contributions to environmental social sciences. He is widely published and cited in the academic literature and his work has been covered in popular media including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio. He also holds appointments with ASU as Senior Sustainability Scientist with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Fellow of the Global Security Initiative, and Fellow of the PLuS Alliance. White is a recipient of the President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness from Arizona State University and the Celebrating Natural Resources Award from the University of Idaho.