Assessing water yield and water quality in complex terrain at small catchment and regional scales

TERRECO WP 2-14

From 03/2009 to 07/2013

Principal Investigator: Jan Fleckenstein, Stefan Peiffer
Staff: Christopher L. Shope
Grant: IRTG 1565 WP II TERRECO - Complex Terrain and Ecological Heterogeneity - Evaluating ecosystem services in production versus water yield and water quality in mountainous landscapes

 

Abstract: Land use and climate change have been implicated in modifying ecosystem services, i.e., water quality and water yield, biodiversity, and agricultural production. The prediction of ecosystem services expected under future land use decisions and changing climate conditions has become increasingly important. Complex policy and management decisions require the integration of physical, biological, economic, and social data over several scales to assess effects on natural resource availability and use.

Field-based meteorology, hydrology, soil physics, plant production, solute and sediment transport, economic, and social behavioral data were measured. Results from individual local-scale models provide identification of sensitive parameters, which are then incorporated into a large-scale semi-distributed SWAT watershed model. This study illustrates how research can be structured to analyze complex ecosystems and landscapes where cross-disciplinary linkages benefit the end result.

The field-based and modeling framework is applied in scenarios to examine potential impacts of spatial and temporal changes in land use practices and climatic shifts on water quantity, water quality, and sediment transport. An extension of the work will include agricultural production and greenhouse gas emissions. Evaluation of such scenarios will contribute to the understanding of the relationships between individual and policy-driven land management, and the values of that can be sustainably obtained for stakeholders.

 

Keywords: climate change; extreme events, Haean Basin, mountainous watersheds, soil erosion, water quality

 

project description in detail from proceedings of 2011 TERRECO Science Conference GAP

 



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