Water-smart growth planning: linking water and land in the arid urbanizing American West

Enjie Li, Shujuan Li, Joanna Endter-Wada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Linking water and land is essential in planning for the future of the western United States. We propose the concept of ‘water-smart growth’ and explore its implications through incorporating water considerations into the SLEUTH land-use model. The urban growth trajectory in Cache County, Utah, is modeled from 2007 to 2030 under four different scenarios: current trend; smart growth; water-smart growth with moderate implementation; and water-smart growth with full implementation. Comparisons of simulation results illustrate the extent and ways in which water-smart growth would alter current established land-use growth patterns. The approach represents an initial step to better integrate land and water in urban growth modeling and planning. This study's purposes are to provide improved understanding and representation of linkages between water and land in urbanizing environments, offer insights from a set of modeled options, and demonstrate the significance of integrating land and water in planning practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1056-1072
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • integrated planning
  • land-use planning
  • urban growth modeling
  • water management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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