Net Zero Urban Water Future: Self Sustaining Cities with Courtney Crosson at the Wonder House SXSW23


Net Zero Urban Water Future: Self Sustaining Cities in the Southwest with Courtney Crosson at the University of Arizona Wonder House SXSW23

Innovation in urban water systems is required to address drivers of change across natural, built and social systems including climate change, economic development, and aged infrastructure. Water systems are complex socio-technical systems that interact with biophysical systems to supply and reclaim water. I present a vision to enhance urban water system resilience through a Net Zero Urban Water (NZUW) approach, which meets the needs of a given community with a locally available and sustainable water supply, without detriment to interconnected systems and long-term water supply. NZUW is an integrative approach with progressive targets assessed using a quantitative framework to expand adaptive and responsive solutions for urban water self-sufficiency. Decision makers can use NZUW to understand tradeoffs between future interventions to urban water systems across spatial and temporal scales.

Courtney Crosson is a licensed architect, Director of the Drachman Institute, and Associate Professor at the University of Arizona, where she teaches classes on water in the built environment and community outreach studios.

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About the University of Arizona:
The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation’s top 40 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2019 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $734 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 66 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually.

Land Acknowledgement
We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples. Today, Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized tribes, with Tucson being home to the O’odham and the Yaqui. Committed to diversity and inclusion, the University strives to build sustainable relationships with sovereign Native Nations and Indigenous communities through education offerings, partnerships, and community service.

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