the resilience of Las Vegas and water

When I was writing my book, I wanted to talk about water use in cities through the story of a single city, and I chose Las Vegas (Nevada, not the one in New Mexico) intentionally as a rhetorical device. One of the writer’s tricks is to start readers on familiar terrain and lead them to a new and different place. Las Vegas and its reputation for profligate excess is familiar terrain for a lot of people. I wanted to start there and lead readers to rethink their ideas about what counts as resilience, to rethink Vegas.

I’ve got a piece up today at The Urbanist that grew out of a lecture I did a few weeks back to UNM Water Resources Program students offering a layer below the book’s Las Vegas chapter. We’ve been talking about water governance this semester, and I laid out an argument that the evolution of water governance structures in Las Vegas have made that community more resilient in the face of pressures on its water supply:

The ability to band together to take collective action for the common good is a key to resilience in human systems.

In some sense, that’s the broader theme of my book – that successful institutions are the key to resilience.

One Comment

  1. without taking into consideration how much
    meat people are eating, food miles or many other
    factors this statistic is very misleading.

Comments are closed.