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Exploring the effects of population growth on future land use change in the Las Vegas Wash watershed: an integrated approach of geospatial modeling and analytics
Sun, Y., S. Tong, M. Fang, AND J. Yang. Exploring the effects of population growth on future land use change in the Las Vegas Wash watershed: an integrated approach of geospatial modeling and analytics. ENVIRONMENT, DEVELOPMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY. Springer, New York, NY, 15(6):1495-1515, (2013).
The Las Vegas Valley metropolitan area is one of the fastest growing areas in the southwestern United States. The rapid urbanization has led to many environmental problems. For instance, as population growth and urbanization continue, there will be a problem with water shortage. Besides, the water quality in the main stem of the Las Vegas Wash (LVW) and Lake Mead, the main fresh water supply for the entire region, is deteriorating. The area will face serious issues of clean water supply. In order to implement effective sustainable development and management plans, a first step is to predict the plausible future urbanization and land use patterns. This paper presents an approach to predict the future land use pattern at the LVW watershed using a Markov Cellular Automata (CA-Markov) model. Multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) was used to couple population density as a variable depicting the driving force of urbanization in the model. Moreover, landscape metrics were used to analyze land use changes in order to better understand the dynamics of urban development in the LVW watershed. The predicted future land use maps for the years 2030 and 2050 show substantial urban development in the area, much of which are located in areas sensitive to source water protections. The results of the analysis provide valuable information for local planners and policy makers, assisting their efforts in contriving alternative development plans, sustainable urban development schemes, and environmental management strategies.
This paper is to present and communicate ORD's research results to scientific community and practitioners at water utility and local planning agencies. The subject involves a new land use projection methodology. Land use projection is important to project water demand and local hydrology or water availability in the future.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY
WATER SUPPLY AND WATER RESOURCES DIVISION
URBAN WATERSHED MANAGEMENT BRANCH