Preventing the repetition: Or, what Los Angeles' experience in water management can teach Atlanta about urban water disputes

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Abstract

[1] Southern California's water history is an epic story with larger-than-life characters and ambitions and abundant hubris. Students of water policy might reasonably ask: Does this story, while unique to greater Los Angeles, hold lessons for other metropolises experiencing water conflict caused by explosive growth? We examine this question by considering similarities between the challenges facing Atlanta, Georgia, one of the nation's fastest growing cities in the 21st century, with those of Los Angeles. We focus on junctures where important decisions regarding water were made and how these decisions continue to challenge both cities' futures. Atlanta's financial, cultural, and environmental imprint on its surrounding region share remarkable similarities with Los Angeles' influence trajectory: it is the largest city in the southeast, a principal transportation and business hub, and it is embroiled in water conflict with nearby communities and adjoining states.

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