Why Land Planners and Water Managers Don't Talk to One Another and Why They Should!

Patricia Gober, Kelli Larson, Ray Quay, Colin Polsky, Heejun Chang, Vivek Shandas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Increasing evidence demonstrates that unsustainable land use practices result in human-induced drought conditions, and inadequate water supplies constrain land development in growing cities. Nonetheless, organizational barriers impair coordinated land and water management. Land planning is strongly influenced by political realities and interest groups, while water management is focused on the single-minded goal of providing reliable water for future development, often set apart from other priorities. Survey results from Portland, OR, and Phoenix, AZ, show that water managers and land planners are generally aware of the physical interconnections between land and water, but there is little cross-sector involvement in the two cities. Focusing on shared concerns about outdoor water use, climate variability, and water-sensitive urban design is a fruitful first step in integrating the practices of land planning and water management for climate adaptation and sustainable resource use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-364
Number of pages9
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013


  • climate adaptation
  • governance gap
  • land planning
  • suburban drought
  • sustainable resource use
  • urban growth
  • water management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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