Science Inventory

Economic analysis of temperature reduction in a large river floodplain: An exploratory study of the WIllamette River, Oregon

Citation:

Seedang, S., A. G. Fernald, R. M. Adams, AND D. H. LANDERS. Economic analysis of temperature reduction in a large river floodplain: An exploratory study of the WIllamette River, Oregon. River Research and Applications. John Wiley & Sons Incorporated, New York, NY, 24:941-959, (2008).

Impact/Purpose:

This paper examines ecosystem restoration practices that focus on water temperature reductions in the upper mainstem Willamette River, Oregon, for the benefit of endangered salmonids and other native cold-water species.

Description:

This paper examines ecosystem restoration practices that focus on water temperature reductions in the upper mainstem Willamette River, Oregon, for the benefit of endangered salmonids and other native cold-water species. The analysis integrates hydrologic, natural science and economic models to determine the cost-effectiveness of alternative water temperature reduction strategies. A temperature model is used to simulate the effects of combinations of upstream riparian shading and flow augmentations on downstream water temperatures. Costs associated with these strategies are estimated and consist of the opportunity costs of lost agricultural production and recreation opportunities due to flow releases from an up-stream reservoir. Temperature reductions from another strategy, hyporheic flow enhancement, are also examined. Restoration strategies associated with enhanced hyporheic cooling consist of removal/reconnection of current obstacles to the creation of dynamic river channel complexity. The observed reduction of summer water temperatures associated with enhanced channel complexity indicates that restoring hyporheic flow processes is more likely to achieve cost-effective temperature reductions and meet the total maximum daily load (TMDL) target than conventional approaches that rely on increased riparian shading or/and combinations of flow augmentation. Although the costs associated with the hyporheic flow enhancement approach are substantial, the effects of such a long-term ecological improvement of the floodplain are expected to assist the recovery of salmonid populations and provide ancillary benefits to society.

URLs/Downloads:

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 09/01/2008
Record Last Revised: 04/08/2009
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 201324

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

FRESHWATER ECOLOGY BRANCH