The University of Arizona

Renegotiating Urban Water Management in Flagstaff, Arizona | CLIMAS

Renegotiating Urban Water Management in Flagstaff, Arizona

TitleRenegotiating Urban Water Management in Flagstaff, Arizona
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsReed, KE
Series TitleCLIMAS Report Series
Document NumberCL 1-04
InstitutionClimate Assessment for the Southwest, University of Arizona
CityTucson, AZ

The rise of water conservation measures in municipalities in the western United States is often attributed to drought stress and increasing urban populations, and I suggest it signals the emergence of a management model based on resource sustainability that intends to incorporate “Nature” into management decisions. Drawing from archival data, I trace socioeconomic and biophysical factors that led to the implementation of conservation measures in Flagstaff, Arizona. A content analysis of contemporary water problems, their causes, and potential management responses informed by semi-structured interviews with key water policymakers in the area, representatives from community interest groups, and scientists indicates that more than three times as many informants, including those with historically opposing viewpoints, prefer conservation measures over supply augmentation policies. Contributing to the broad political ecology literature, I incorporate concepts introduced by ecological Marxism and the social production of nature literature to interpret the popularity of conservation measures and suggest some subsequent implications.