Identifying transferrable lessons of Urban Water Management and Governance in the USA and beyond: Facilitating Integrated Water Resources Management through the Application of the City Blueprint Framework and Governance Capacity Framework
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Cities in the U.S. face increasing pressures on their water resources from urbanization and climate change resulting in depletion, pollution, and increased flood and heat risk. These challenges are complex while the specific impacts of climate change are uncertain. Integrated water resources management (IWRM) and adaptive management (AM) are the keys for cities to address the complexity and uncertainty they face. The research determines the trends and pressures that may affect a city’s water resources management and assesses the IWRM performances of Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Milwaukee, Portland and Phoenix in order to identify strengths and areas for improvement of IWRM. Enhancing governance capacity on the city level facilitates the improvement of IWRM practices. The governance capacity of New York City was assessed in order to identify governance conditions that can be strengthened in New York City and other cities in the U.S. The results show that cities in the U.S. face pressure from urbanization and heat risk while tertiary wastewater treatment, solid waste recycling, nutrient recovery from wastewater treatment, stormwater separation, and green space can be improved to enhance the overall IWRM performance of U.S. cities. There is room for improvement for all governance conditions with special focus on improving continuous learning through increased monitoring, evaluation and cross-stakeholder learning.