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Tuesday, April 10 • 10:45am - 11:00am
URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING: Forecasting Urbanization and Future Water Demands of a Rapidly Growing Megaregion

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AUTHORS: Georgina M. Sanchez*, NC State University; Jordan W. Smith, Utah State University; Adam Terando, U.S. Geological Survey; Ross K. Meentemeyer, NC State University

ABSTRACT: Integrated land- and water-use planning is gaining attention as a means to inform more water-efficient development patterns. In this study, we coupled a land change model with a development-related water use model to explore alternative futures of continued urbanization and estimate the associated water demand across the rapidly growing region of the southeastern U.S. We used the FUTure Urban-Regional Environment Simulation (FUTURES) framework to simulate spatial patterns of land-use change for both a “status-quo” and a “WaterSmart” urbanization scenario. While both scenarios meet the water demands of the same projected population, the WaterSmart scenario optimizes water efficiency based on four parameters: per capita land consumption, spatial patterns of development, protected areas and attitude towards conservation. The urban planning guidelines and regulations implicit in the WaterSmart scenario show a robust improvement in water efficiency across the region. Future projections of development-related water use will benefit from the use of dynamic land change models to estimate the water footprint of different patterns of development.

Tuesday April 10, 2018 10:45am - 11:00am CDT
Grant Park Parlor