MODELING THE CONNECTEDNESS BETWEEN BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AND VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENTS
Abstract:The overall goal of this study is to better understand the connectedness between Best management practices (BMPs) and vulnerability assessments (VA) in a changing landuse. Developing this connectedness will help understand key vulnerabilities and improve adaptive capacity important for ecosystem sustainability. BMPs are practical management practices or systems designed and installed in watersheds to provide a wide range of effects to protect or restore the physical, chemical, and biological condition of waterbodies (e.g. changing hydrology; improving vegetative habitat; mitigate adverse environmental change). VAs can be defined as “the degree to which the system is susceptible to and is unable to cope with adverse effects of change” and are often characterized as a function of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity.
There are many variables and factors used in calculating the impact of BMPs and VAs. The event mean concentration or load (e.g. nutrient, sediment,) associated with the specific landuse is an important variable. There is much data that predicts the loads associated with the major landuses (urban, agricultural). Loads greatly vary with region; rainfall characteristics (e.g. rainfall intensity, rainfall frequency); soil characteristics (e.g. soil type, hydrologic soil groups); hydrologic characteristics (e.g. runoff potential). A concern also exists that possibly all of the variables associated with changes in an individual land use have not been identified and distinguished for their impact on land use. For example, the loads associated with a high density residential with much green space may be more similar to medium density than loads associated with high rise apartment buildings. Other factors may include age of construction, % of families with children, % of families with pets, level of transiency, and construction activity
The objective of our study is to develop an initial framework using multiple variables and factors to represent the connectedness between BMPs and VA in a changing landuse. In future we plan to develop this framework to be better suited across multiple regions and environmental change scenarios. We believe this would lead to improved selection of appropriate landuse load and reasonable load reduction range associated with a variety of BMPs.