Title

Watershed-Scale Tradeoffs in Water Quantity and Quality Attributes for Conservation Policy

Publication Date

2009

Journal or Book Title

WATER AIR AND SOIL POLLUTION

Abstract

Information on tradeoffs among water quantity and quality attributes at a watershed scale is important in developing effective watershed conservation policies. Assessment of these multiattribute tradeoffs, a focus of this study, is often a low priority in policy design. A combination of simulation modeling and statistical assessment was used to evaluate the significance of relationships among runoff, sediment, nitrate, and phosphorus loading in 115 subwatersheds of the Blackstone River Watershed in southern New England. We observed high variability in rates of runoff, nitrate, phosphorus, and sediment loading among subwatersheds. Results of the regression analysis indicate a high correlation between nitrate and surface runoff, emphasizing the importance of stormwater management in mitigating nutrient loads. A significant relationship exists between mineral phosphorus and sediment yield in watersheds that could inform strategies to mitigate eutrophication problems in phosphorus-limited systems such as some inland water bodies. The tradeoff analysis proposed can be used in policy design and to assess the implications of various policies to address multiple pollutants.

DOI

10.1007/s11270-008-9949-8

Volume

201

Issue

1-4

Pages

347-363

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