Undergraduate Honors Thesis


Will the West have Water? A Multidimensional Framework for Collaborative and Integrated Water Management Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF

    The question of water availability in the American West, and specifically Southern California, is becoming increasingly important as the population continues to grow while water is being used unsustainably. Moreover, the hydraulic impacts from climate change will only put further pressure on this complex system of water users and needs. Therefore, this thesis seeks to answer the question of what kind of considerations go into decision making around water management, and how can those considerations be used in a framework that facilitates collaborative and integrated resource management? It was revealed through a cross-comparative analysis of options, coupled with interviews with stakeholders in Ventura County, that there are a multitude of complex considerations that should be included into water management decisions. Yet, historically these considerations have not been fully investigated and incorporated into decision making, leading to the water crisis the West faces today. Ultimately, the evaluative framework weighing all the different options based on a set of relative criteria highlighted the impact and importance of including those considerations into the analysis of solutions. Moreover, the case study stakeholder analysis revealed further complexities that should be considered in relation to different individuals’ priorities, needs, and values. These considerations should be built into decision making through engaging and collaborating with the stakeholders throughout the planning process to overcome the tensions that persist. To do this, stakeholder collaborations should use the evaluative framework created in this thesis to rank their preferences across the set of criteria and options. This thesis concludes that ultimately there is no one size fits all approach, and in order to achieve sustainable and equitable water use in the American West we must integrate our considerations of planning across resources, between users, and in relation to future changes.

Date Awarded
  • 2023-04-18
Academic Affiliation
Committee Member
Granting Institution
Last Modified
  • 2023-04-21
Resource Type
Rights Statement


In Collection: