Political leaning influences city water policies as strongly as climate

Urban water conservation policies are reflecting the nation’s political polarization, with a new report demonstrating that a city’s water ordinances can be as much related to whether it leans left or right as to whether the climate is wet or dry. Vanderbilt University environmental researchers found Los Angeles ranks No. 1 for number and strength of policies, followed by six other left-leaning California cities along with Austin, Texas. It takes until San Antonio, Texas, at No.

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Urban Water Conservation Policies in the United States

Cities face challenges on many fronts as they work to assure their residents of safe and reliable access to water. Changes in both supply and demand are driven by complex interactions among many human and natural factors, such as drought, infrastructure, population growth, and land-use. Climate change adds new complexities and uncertainties as cities plan for the future. In the past, challenges to water security were addressed by Promethean energy- and technology-intensive infrastructure projects, such as long-distance transfers, desalination, and artificial aquifer recharge; but in recent years, attention to soft approaches has grown.

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