Coordinating Water Management and Urban Planning Efforts


To better understand and improve coordination between the urban water and planning sectors, researchers from the University of Arizona, Brendle Group, and Western Resource Advocates explored the connections between land use planning and water management in two parallel research projects supported by Water Environment & Reuse Foundation and Water Research Foundation (project #SIWM5R13 and project #4623, respectively). Each team investigated coordination efforts across different water management strategies, using literature reviews, case studies, interviews, focus groups, workshops, statistical analyses, and a joint national survey to gather key information. These results were also compared to American Planning Association’s Water Working Group 2016 member survey.

The research demonstrated that the integration of land use planning and urban water management is required to implement many innovative water strategies. Hosted by WE&RF, this webcast discussed findings from both projects, looking at identified priority areas of water management where collaboration and coordination are needed, barriers to coordinated efforts, and tools and strategies for overcoming barriers.

Speakers from the University of Arizona presented the Self-Assessment Tool developed as part of this research, while the Brendle Group and Western Resource Advocates shared their Coordinated Planning Guide. Case studies from both projects were presented, demonstrating successful and non-successful instances of coordination between the two sectors, as well as key thematic take-aways. The findings from these projects can be used by both the water and planning sectors to improve coordination, promote resilience in urban environments, and help move cities towards a One Water approach.