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Measuring Integration of Land and Water Management in Colorado River Basin Communities

Stakeholder Perceptions of Candidate Indicators

Tamee Albrecht

August 2023, English

Water availability is a growing concern for communities in Colorado River Basin states that have experienced more than two decades of regional drought conditions. A growing body of research suggests that better coordination between land use planning and water resource management, specifically related to urban growth, is expected to positively impact water sustainability, but comparing these impacts across communities to understand basin-wide trends in water sustainability is difficult. Indicators could help with tracking and measuring progress across the basin, leading towards better integration of land use and water sustainability. A framework for developing land-water management indicators developed in Albrecht and Petersen-Perlman (2023) identifies stakeholder engagement as a key method for devising useful indicators, and suggests that in order to be useful, indicators must be relevant, feasible, and comparable. This study compiles practitioner viewpoints on information needs that indicators could address, what type of indicators would be usable, and what challenges there are to utilizing indicators in practice. Overall, practitioners view indicators as potentially useful if they address identified knowledge gaps; however, there remain challenges with indicator development and use related to data availability and comparability of indicators across different contexts in the Colorado River Basin.


Water, Water Planning