Changes in land use have various impacts on the water resources available in the ecosystem. For effective watershed management, it is crucial to understand what these impacts entail.
However, several factors make this difficult and can limit the usefulness of hydrologic analysis when developing and implementing environmental policies. For example, it is not always easy to make assessments across varying temporal and spatial scales, and multiple sources of uncertainty may be inherent in the analysis.
In his lecture on “Multi-Scale Assessment and Land-Use Dependent Valuation of Hydrologic Ecosystem Services” on 24 July 2017, Daniel Hawtree (Institute of Soil Science and Site Ecology, TU Dresden) discussed the relevance of analysis methods in order to address these challenges.
Delivered as part of the joint Nexus Seminar Series organised by the UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) and TU Dresden, the lecture provided insight into the land-use dependent valuation of hydrologic ecosystem services. Hawtree presented some of the state-of-the-art analysis methods by looking at a case study in the Vouga Basin, Portugal. In this study, he assesses the impacts of forest-related land-cover changes on water resources.
The Vouga Basin region has undergone substantial land-cover change in the 20th century and registers as one of the most polluted waters in Europe. Addressing these problems requires sustainable environmental planning, such as the application of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), which is widely used in assessing non-point source pollution control and regional management in watersheds. Based on several simulations, Hawtree derived best management practices targeted at improving the state of water resources in the basin.
For more information on the seminar, see the news story on the UNU-FLORES website.