Identifying General Themes

Sowmithra M -

Hey everyone! I have now finished sifting through Dr. Garcia’s data for an initial comparison. I looked at a lot of different documents from city charters and annual financial reports to water infrastructure design plans and drought reports. One challenge I faced was that there often was yearly data of the same type of reports. I struggled for a bit on balancing getting an overall view for an initial comparison and making sure to capture the right details. I decided to take notes from the oldest and the most recent documents in order to see how things have changed. I informed Dr. Garcia of my decision, and she agreed that that would suffice for the initial comparison.  

I’ve also been continuing background readings and finding public meetings. I have one last section regarding water resources to finish off the topics I wanted to touch on. As a reminder, those topics were institutional grammar, sustainable urban water management, and water resources. In the future, I may read a few more papers, but for now I hope to finish up gathering information for these three topics. As for the meetings, I have organized them into virtual ones to attend, recordings to watch, or typed minutes to read. Additionally, I’ve contacted the major water departments and organizations in each city to see if they can provide more relevant recordings or guide me to other meetings that I can sit in on. I will start going through these meetings in the second half of this week. 

So what is my next major step? I now plan to identify general themes and summarize the findings for each individual city, the background readings, and the meetings I’ll be attending. Then, in the coming weeks, I’ll combine all 3 perspectives to see what overlapping trends and such exist. For today, I’m meeting in person with Dr. Garcia to discuss my progress and where I should head after drawing common themes and connections. I’m also meeting with post-doc student Koorosh to discuss his work on the equity implications of different approaches to water supply sustainability. I plan to synthesize a 1-2 page summary paper regarding ideas and themes found in all three sources. This overall summary will help guide my in depth analysis of the 3 cities and potential lessons cities can learn. Thanks for reading!

More Posts


All viewpoints are welcome but profane, threatening, disrespectful, or harassing comments will not be tolerated and are subject to moderation up to, and including, full deletion.

    Hi Sowmithra! It’s so exciting that you have such a major part of your project almost completed! I was wondering how you’re keeping track of all of this information? It seems like there’s so much to organize.
    Hi Sowmithra, what insights have you gained from your comparison of the oldest and most recent documents, and how do you plan to incorporate these into your analysis of sustainable urban water management?
    Hi Nithya! Doing so has made me realize that urban water systems have changed significantly in the past 30 years, whether that be due to legislation itself or water stress from changing climates. This change into more conservation measures or seeking out new supplies is a part of transitioning towards a sustainable system. These changes are what I will be looking at in order to analyze sustainable urban water management. What made these systems change? What changes were made? Such questions will guide my final research poster as well.
    Hi Koushita! I'm keeping track of all this information through dropbox. My advisor and I have shared files and organized folders where it is easy for both her and me to upload something, rather than sending multiple emails.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *