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Potential contribution of ecosystem services associated with altered management activities in the Wabash River watershed to sustainable water management in the Ohio River Basin
BEST, P. AND G. Yang. Potential contribution of ecosystem services associated with altered management activities in the Wabash River watershed to sustainable water management in the Ohio River Basin . Presented at 4th International Ecosummit, Ecological Sustainability, Restoring the Planet's Ecosystem Services, Columbus, OH, October 01 - 05, 2012.
The Ohio River (OR) is an important river in North America. It has many different functions for use by humans and wildlife. Water quality of the OR main stem is 50% impaired. The impairment originates from point sources located on the shores of the OR, from non-point sources and from inflows of tributaries. The river also carries a high load of nitrogen (N) and contributes significantly to the anoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. Water in the OR is expected to benefit from sustainable management. The river flows within a large watershed, composed by multiple subwatersheds with a variety of ecosystems. Ecosystems may provide several ecosystem services (ES) important for sustainable water management. This study aims at addressing the following questions: (1) Do increased ES have the potential to contribute to sustainable watershed management; (2) To which extent; and (3) At which cost. The project follows a 3-phased approach. In the first phase, ES in the OR basin (ORB) are mapped in past and current times, and a sustainable integrated watershed management/restoration agenda is formulated. ES are mapped as follows: for past times by legacy land use map generation through back-cast land transformation modeling; for current times in compliance with the Millenium Assessment, augmented with ES accepted within the EPA Agency. In the second phase, scenarios are explored to identify potential benefits of changes in ES, brought about by restoration measures and/or changes in management, by modeling hydrology and water quality (WQ2) in headwaters and downstream reaches of one OR subwatershed. In the third phase, the outcomes of alternative WQ2 scenarios will be compared, cost-benefit analysis of a subset conducted, best alternatives selected and optimized, and follow-up by policy planners recommended.
To inform the public.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY
WATER SUPPLY AND WATER RESOURCES DIVISION
WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT BRANCH