HS9.8Land-water interaction at the river basin scale: ecohydrology approaches to understanding the impact of upstream processes on downstream estuarine and coastal ecosystems
|Co-Convener: Neil Coles|
/ Attendance Thu, 07 Apr, 17:30–19:00 /
Global water quality has declined, and there has been significant loss of biodiversity worldwide, which severely impacts global ecosystems. Such trends provide ample evidence that conventional approaches to water resource management (based on the application of engineering techniques, sectoral interventions, and the elimination of such direct threats as point source pollution) are no longer sufficient to stem the tide of the water crisis.
Upstream land and water use can have a major impact on downstream estuarine and coastal processes. Erosion and sedimentation, for example, can alter water quality and river flows, with subsequent impacts on the downstream ecological, social and economic systems. There is widespread agreement on the need for more integrated water resource management and increasing recognition of the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to water science in order to manage this complexity.
Ecohydrology is a relatively new integrative science that involves finding solutions to issues surrounding water, people, and the environment. Ecohydrology theory is based upon the assumption that sustainable water resources management can be achieved by:
- Reversing degradation and regulating the evolutionarily-established processes of water and nutrient circulation and energy flows at a catchments scale;
- Enhancing the carrying capacity of ecosystems against human impact (resilience, robustness, biodiversity, ecosystem services for societies);
- Using water biota interplay as water management tools.
This session aims to demonstrate the contribution Ecohydrology can and is making to understanding and managing the connection between upstream land use changes and impacts in estuaries and coastal zones.
Papers will stress and support an integrated approach to water resource management and the integration of multiple disciplines, including hydrology, soil physics, land and water governance etc.
Contributions dealing with the following issues, are particularly welcome:
- Soil-water interactions at the river basin scale;
- Spatial and temporal variability in the impact of upstream land use on downstream ecosystems;
- Impact of agricultural-induced sedimentation on water quality and quantity;
- Links between agricultural land use, sedimentation and estuarine and coastal ecosystem functions and services;
- Impacts of changing irrigation (total land, crop type, water efficiency etc) on sedimentation;
- Territorial integration of water: improving the governance of water and land.