SUSTAINABILITY TRANSITIONS IN URBAN WATER MANAGEMENT: Assessing the robustness of institutional arrangements

Aaron Deslatte, Margaret Garcia, Elizabeth A. Koebele, John M. Anderies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Transitions toward sustainability are triggered by confluences of natural, built infrastructure, and social, economic, and political factors. As many urban water management regimes across the globe increasingly face hydrologic stress, it is critical to systematically understand how these factors interact to hasten or inhibit transitions to more sustainable states. Scholars have used many frameworks to study transitions. This chapter applies one of them, the Robustness of Coupled Infrastructure Systems (CIS) framework, to demonstrate how interactions among natural, human, and built infrastructure have impacted the performance of urban water systems in three metropolitan areas in the United States: Miami, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. We illustrate how the CIS framework can allow researchers to organize the often non-linear and slow-moving forces underlying transitions and, consequently, to gain greater leverage to explain system sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Urban Water Governance
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781000644593
ISBN (Print)9780367523534
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Social Sciences


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