Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: HYDROLOGIC PROCESSES, SCALE, CLIMATE VARIABILITY, AND WATER RESOURCES FOR SEMIARID WATERSHED MANAGEMENT Title: Integrated Modeling and Ecological Valuation: Applications in the Semi Arid Southwest 1912

Authors
item Brookshire, D. - UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
item Brand, A. - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Thacher, J. - UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
item Dixon, M. - UNIVERSITY OF S. DAKOTA
item Benedict, K. - UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
item Stromberg, J. - ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Lansey, K. - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Goodrich, David
item Mcintosh, M. - ATTORNEY AT LAW
item Grady, J. - MIDDLE RIO GRANDE CONS. D
item Stewart, S. - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Broadbent, C. - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Izon, G. - UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

Submitted to: Environmental Protection Agency Special Publication
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2007
Publication Date: May 25, 2007
Citation: Brookshire, D.S., Brand, A., Thacher, J., Dixon, M.D., Benedict, K., Stromberg, J.C., Lansey, K., Goodrich, D.C., Mcintosh, M., Grady, J., Stewart, S., Broadbent, C., Izon, G. 2007. Integrated Modeling and Ecological Valuation: Applications in the Semi Arid Southwest. Proceedings USEPA "Valuation for Environmental Policy: Ecological Benefits" workshop April 23, 24, 2007. Washington D.C.

Interpretive Summary: Natural, intact, freshwater ecosystems, and the habitat they support are relatively rare in the semi-arid southwest. The water supporting these systems is often in high demand for human or agriculture use. To address this conflict, natural scientists must evaluate how human water use decisions impact hydrologic regimes and the ecological systems this water supports. A broad foundation of natural science information is needed value ecological systems. The goal of this research is to incorporate hydrologic, vegetation, avian, and economic models into an integrated framework to determine the value of changes in ecological systems that result from changes in hydrological profiles. We have developed a hydro-bio-economic framework for the San Pedro River Region (SPRR) in Arizona that considers groundwater, stream flow, and riparian vegetation, as well as abundance, diversity, and distribution of birds within a protected area encompassing the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA). In addition, we are developing a similar framework for the Middle Rio Grande of New Mexico (MRG). Distinct valuation studies are being conducted for each site. This research is novel in that it provides much more detailed scientific information for economic valuation models than is typically available.

Technical Abstract: A Conservation of freshwater systems is critical in the semi-arid Southwest where groundwater and flood regimes strongly influence the abundance, composition, and structure of riparian (streamside) vegetation. At the same time these systems are in high demand for competing human use. To address this conflict, natural scientists must evaluate how anthropogenic changes to hydrologic regimes alter ecological systems. A broad foundation of natural science information is needed for ecological valuation efforts to be successful. The goal of this research is to incorporate hydrologic, vegetation, avian, and economic models into an integrated framework to determine the value of changes in ecological systems that result from changes in hydrological profiles. We have developed a hydro-bio-economic framework for the San Pedro River Region (SPRR) in Arizona that considers groundwater, stream flow, and riparian vegetation, as well as abundance, diversity, and distribution of birds within a protected area encompassing the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA). In addition, we are developing a similar framework for the Middle Rio Grande of New Mexico (MRG). Distinct valuation studies are being conducted for each site with benefit-transfer tests to be conducted between the two sites. This research is novel in that it provides much more detailed scientific information for economic valuation models than is typically available.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page