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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: PLANNING CHANGE: CASE STUDIES ILLUSTRATING THE BENEFITS OF GIS AND LAND-USE DATA IN ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING 1804

Authors
item Semmens, D. - US EPA
item Goodrich, David

Submitted to: American Society Of Civil Engineers Watershed Management Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2005
Publication Date: February 23, 2005
Citation: Semmens, D.J., Goodrich, D.C. 2005. Planning change: case studies illustrating the benefits of gis and land-use data in environmental planning. Proceedings of the International Conference on Hydrological Perspectives for Sustainable Development, Feb. 23-25, 2005, Roorkee, India, p. 346-354.

Interpretive Summary: A well-established protocol for planning environmentally sustainable development has yet to be agreed upon. Experiences from two highly-studied basins in the United States illustrate some early attempts, their successes, and the obstacles that continue to impede widespread adoption of environmental planning. The first, located in a heavily-populated humid region in and around Charlotte, North Carolina, has emphasized improvements to water quality and aquatic habitat to sustain the quality of life enjoyed by residents in the face of large projected population growth. Analyses are concentrating on detailed study of surface waters, and evaluation of the costs and benefits of various development strategies in terms of their impacts on water quality. The second, located in the semi-arid San Pedro Basin in southeastern Arizona, is focused on achieving sustainable yield from finite groundwater resources to preserve perennial flow in one of the regions last free-flowing desert rivers. Analyses have concentrated on detailed study of the regional groundwater system, and evaluating the costs and benefits of alternative strategies for reducing current water-table declines. In both cases, remotely-sensed land use data and a mapping and analysis tool referred to as Geographic Information Systems, is playing, or has played, a central role in facilitating scientific analyses and environmental decision-making.

Technical Abstract: A well-established protocol for planning environmentally sustainable development has yet to be agreed upon. Experiences from two highly-studied basins in the United States illustrate some early attempts, their successes, and the obstacles that continue to impede widespread adoption of environmental planning. The first, located in a heavily-populated humid region, has emphasized improvements to water quality and aquatic habitat to sustain the quality of life enjoyed by residents in the face of large projected population growth. Analyses are concentrating on detailed characterization of surface waters, and evaluation of the costs and benefits of various development strategies in terms of their impacts on water quality. The second, located in a semi-arid region, is focused on achieving sustainable yield from finite groundwater resources, and in doing so preserving perennial flow in one of the regions last free-flowing desert rivers. Analyses have concentrated on detailed characterization of the regional groundwater system, and evaluating the costs and benefits of alternative strategies for reducing current water-table declines. In both cases, GIS and remotely-sensed land use data is playing, or has played, a central role in facilitating scientific analyses and environmental decision-making.

Last Modified: 10/31/2014
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