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Watershed characterization and analysis using the VELMA model
Mckane, Bob, A. Brookes, B. Barnhart, J. Halama, P. Pettus, Joe Ebersole, K. Djang, AND G. Blair. Watershed characterization and analysis using the VELMA model. Invited Seminar Washington State Dept. of Ecology, Lacey, Washington, November 17, 2016.
This invited seminar for the Washington State Department of Ecology will provide an overview of EPA’s VELMA watershed simulator and its applications for identifying best management practices for protecting and restoring vital ecosystem services, such as provisioning of clean water, food and fiber, and habitat for fish and wildlife. After the seminar, the presenter will meet with Department of Ecology staff to discuss the feasibility of including VELMA in their Puget Sound Watershed Characterization Project (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/puget_sound/characterization/), which uses various tools for identifying restoration priorities and guiding land use planning in the Puget Sound basin.
We developed a broadly applicable watershed simulator – VELMA (Visualizing Ecosystem and Land Management Assessments) – to characterize hydrological and ecological processes essential to the healthy functioning of watersheds, and to identify best management practices (BMPs) for restoring ecosystem services such as provisioning of clean water, food and fiber, and habitat for fish and wildlife. VELMA has been applied to agricultural, forest, rangeland and arctic watersheds across North America. Urban applications are under development. This seminar will discuss how VELMA is being used to help inform (1) salmon recovery planning in Puget Sound, and (2) water quality protection in Chesapeake Bay agricultural landscapes. These examples highlight the importance of model validation; how VELMA is being linked with additional models to aid BMP identification; and how the model is being transferred to community groups, tribes, and state and federal agencies engaged in environmental decision making.