Water 2013, 5(3), 852-874; doi:10.3390/w5030852
Article

Framing Scenarios of Binational Water Policy with a Tool to Visualize, Quantify and Valuate Changes in Ecosystem Services

1 U.S. Geological Survey, Western Geographic Science Center, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA 2 Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA 3 Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA 4 U.S. Geological Survey, Western Geographic Science Center, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 April 2013; in revised form: 1 June 2013 / Accepted: 7 June 2013 / Published: 28 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Watershed Management)
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Abstract: In the Santa Cruz Watershed, located on the Arizona-Sonora portion of the U.S.-Mexico border, an international wastewater treatment plant treats wastewater from cities on both sides of the border, before discharging it into the river in Arizona. These artificial flows often subsidize important perennial surface water ecosystems in the region. An explicit understanding of the benefits of maintaining instream flow for present and future generations requires the ability to assess and understand the important trade-offs implicit in water-resource management decisions. In this paper, we outline an approach for modeling and visualizing impacts of management decisions in terms of rare terrestrial and aquatic wildlife, vegetation, surface water, groundwater recharge, real-estate values and socio-environmental vulnerable communities. We identify and quantify ecosystem services and model the potential reduction in effluent discharge to the U.S. that is under scrutiny by binational water policy makers and of concern to stakeholders. Results of service provisioning are presented, and implications for policy makers and resource managers are discussed. This paper presents a robust ecosystem services assessment of multiple scenarios of watershed management as a means to discern eco-hydrological responses and consider their potential values for future generations living in the borderlands.
Keywords: ecosystem services; effluent; scenario analysis; water policy; public value; riparian change

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MDPI and ACS Style

Norman, L.M.; Villarreal, M.L.; Niraula, R.; Meixner, T.; Frisvold, G.; Labiosa, W. Framing Scenarios of Binational Water Policy with a Tool to Visualize, Quantify and Valuate Changes in Ecosystem Services. Water 2013, 5, 852-874.

AMA Style

Norman LM, Villarreal ML, Niraula R, Meixner T, Frisvold G, Labiosa W. Framing Scenarios of Binational Water Policy with a Tool to Visualize, Quantify and Valuate Changes in Ecosystem Services. Water. 2013; 5(3):852-874.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Norman, Laura M.; Villarreal, Miguel L.; Niraula, Rewati; Meixner, Thomas; Frisvold, George; Labiosa, William. 2013. "Framing Scenarios of Binational Water Policy with a Tool to Visualize, Quantify and Valuate Changes in Ecosystem Services." Water 5, no. 3: 852-874.

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