Evaluating hydrological response to forecasted land-use change—scenario testing with the automated geospatial watershed assessment (AGWA) tool

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Abstract

Envisioning and evaluating future scenarios has emerged as a critical component of both science and social decision-making. The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast the life support functions of ecosystems is absolutely critical to our capacity to make informed decisions to maintain the sustainable nature of our ecosystem services now and into the future. During the past two decades, important advances in the integration of remote imagery, computer processing, and spatial-analysis technologies have been used to develop landscape information that can be integrated with hydrologic models to determine long-term change and make predictive inferences about the future. Two diverse case studies in northwest Oregon (Willamette River basin) and southeastern Arizona (San Pedro River) were examined in regard to future land use scenarios relative to their impact on surface water conditions (e.g., sediment yield and surface runoff) using hydrologic models associated with the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) tool. The base reference grid for land cover was modified in both study locations to reflect stakeholder preferences 20 to 60 yrs into the future, and the consequences of landscape change were evaluated relative to the selected future scenarios. The two studies provide examples of integrating hydrologic modeling with a scenario analysis framework to evaluate plausible future forecasts and to understand the potential impact of landscape change on ecosystem services.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Evaluating hydrological response to forecasted land-use change—scenario testing with the automated geospatial watershed assessment (AGWA) tool
Year Published 2009
Language English
Publisher U.S Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center
Description 6 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title Planning for an uncertain future - Monitoring, integration, and adaptation (SIR 2009-5049)
First page 79
Last page 84
Conference Title Third interagency conference on research in the watersheds
Conference Location Estes Park, CO
Conference Date September 8-11, 2008
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N