Development of an Urban Watershed Rehabilitation Method Using Stakeholder Feedback to Direct Investigation and Restoration Planning

EPA Grant Number: R827147
Title: Development of an Urban Watershed Rehabilitation Method Using Stakeholder Feedback to Direct Investigation and Restoration Planning
Investigators: Matlock, Marty D. , Samuelson, Charles D. , Whitten, Guy D. , Neill, William H. , Kenimer, Ann L. , Peterson, Tarla Rai
Institution: Texas A & M University
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: October 1, 1998 through September 30, 2001 (Extended to March 31, 2003)
Project Amount: $838,767
RFA: Water and Watersheds (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water , Water and Watersheds


We will develop and test a method for restoring the ecological integrity of urban watersheds that combines ecology, engineering and social science. Research questions to be addressed include 1) Can a risk-based watershed model linked with two eco-indicators in a regressive ecological risk assessment for a complex watershed quantify the uncertainty associated with ecosystem rehabilitation?; 2) Will stakeholders' understanding of non-point source pollution (NPS) issues, ability to use scientific information about TMDLs, and communication competence improve as a result of Collaborative Learning (CL) intervention? A watershed model of ecological risk assessment will be developed. Models of stakeholder knowledge levels, environmental attitudes, and compliance patterns will also be developed.


Our approach integrates ecology, engineering and social science. A watershed model linked with an in-stream model has been developed to evaluate and optimize ecosystem management strategies. Two integrated eco-indicators will be used to evaluate and communicate risk to the stakeholder group. This risk-based model will be used to initiate discussions between stakeholders and scientists in an iterative process that will result in an informed and stakeholder-driven action plan for watershed rehabilitation. Social dilemma/game-theoretic analysis will be used to develop models of compliance under different assumptions about time and other actors' behaviors. A simulation of the interactive effects of human and non-human factors on watershed nutrient levels will be developed.

Expected Results:

This work will provide a system-based set of tools for quantifying the uncertainty associated with nutrient pollution control at both the physical and social levels. The models that will result from the work can be used to facilitate the development of more effective pollution control approaches.

Improvement in Risk Assessment: This project will provide a more sophisticated framework for the guidance and evaluation of watershed-level decision making on TMDLs.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 13 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 2 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Texas, San Antonio, game theory, oxygen, EPA Region VI, business, industry, agriculture, decision making, preferences, community-based., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Water & Watershed, Restoration, State, Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, Environmental Engineering, EPA Region, Watersheds, Social Science, social science research, stakeholder groups, urban watershed rehabilitation method, community involvement, community-based research, non-point source pollution, decision making, conservation, management alternatives, integrated assessment, ecological recovery, Region 6, Texas (TX), game theory, aquatic ecosystems, non-point sources, water quality, environmental rehabilitation, ecology assessment models, public policy, community values, restoration planning, stakeholder feedback, watershed restoration, sociological

Relevant Websites:

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1999 Progress Report
  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • Final Report