State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2008OR104B
Title: The Rock Creek Sustainability Initiative
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2008
End Date: 2/28/2009
Congressional District: 1
Focus Categories: Groundwater, Law, Institutions, and Policy, Management and Planning
Keywords: adaptive governance, collaborative policy development,
Principal Investigator: Hallmark, Elaine
Federal Funds: $ 26593
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 94323
Abstract: Infrastructure is the skeleton upon which our communities are built. Currently, western states have separate systems for land use planning and for making decisions about the location of water, wastewater and transportation infrastructure. These systems relate to one another on paper but often fail to connect in practice and neglect the relationship between urban and rural water utility systems. We are building and rebuilding urban communities and rural lands without integrated blueprints and, thus, are missing opportunities for smarter growth and more sustainable communities. The Rock Creek Sustainability Initiative (RCSI) in Clackamas County, western Oregon serves as a case study for the development of an adaptive governance model pilot for coordinating land use and water management. The exploratory research in Phase I seeks to assess key barriers to coordination, establish baseline water quality and quantity modeling, and facilitate coordination planning discussions. Methods include interviews, participant observation, and comparative case study research. Phase I will conclude with a "Confluence Meeting" of key investigators and implementers from four watersheds who will vet recommendations for further research and develop a synthesis paper positing a possible replicable pilot project model. This project will lay the groundwork for the formal convening of a RCSI pilot implementation stakeholder group in Phase II which will inform the development of a regional model for coordinating land and water management. Concurrent involvement by local and regional governments in facilitated coordination planning discussions will enhance the likelihood of regionally successful pilot implementation in Phase III. Findings from Phase I will be incorporated into a larger grant proposal to build on this research.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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