Problem-centered vs. discipline-centered research for the exploration of sustainability

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Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education






The major human-environment issue in America’s arid and semi-arid Southwest region is urban growth. Arid region growth is a phenomena that extends beyond the U.S., but the American case is interesting, in that it is an extreme scenario, and the politics regarding water are notably multi-scale, multi-state, multi-agency, and vitriolic in the region. In fact, Las Vegas is the most rapidly growing metropolitan area in the nation, and the Lower Colorado River Basin includes two other areas that are also in the top ten in terms of growth rate – the Phoenix, and the San Bernardino Riverside areas. Furthermore, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that the states of Nevada and Arizona will lead the nation in terms of rates of population growth between 2005 and 2010, while California, with southern parts of the state receiving Lower Colorado River Basin water, will lead the U.S. in total population increase. “Drought” has been omnipresent in the hydropolitics of the region in recent years, but when persons see boat slips hanging in the air over where Lake Mead used to be, and the lake is below 50 percent capacity, the question now often raised by locals, scientists, and reporters traveling internationally to cover the issue is, “is this drought or climate change?”


Cities and towns – Growth; Drought; Global warming; Southwest; New; Sustainable urban development; Water supply


Climate | Growth and Development | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sustainability | Urban Studies | Urban Studies and Planning | Water Resource Management




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