To build water-efficient cities, water managers and urban planners must coordinate better

Lack of time and resources, and practitioners not in habit of working together hamper efforts.

November 28, 2018 |

For improved water efficiency in cities, water managers and urban planners must coordinate their efforts better, according to a new report led by University of Arizona landscape architecture and planning researchers.

Lack of time and resources and practitioners not in the habit of working together were cited as the main factors stymieing better collaboration, according to responses to a national survey of water managers and urban planners. The report includes a tool for practitioners to identify goals for collaboration and what barriers might stand in their way.

The first steps toward improved collaboration include joint training sessions where water managers and urban planners hear each other's challenges and brainstorm ways of coordinating their work. Where coordination works well, a water engineer might sit in on development review meetings for new projects and weigh in during permitting to ensure that the new development would achieve groundwater and stormwater goals of regional and state agencies.

In the future, water managers and urban planners could help staff each other's agencies for a complete integration of the two functions.

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