Climate change and land development are two of the major driving forces that challenge current water resource systems and water sustainability in many large river basins worldwide. While many studies have investigated the potential impacts of climate change and land cover change on various sectors of water (e.g., water supply, water quality, sediments, floods, aquatic species habitat, etc.), these studies typically focused on one or two sectors of future water resource system changes. Accordingly, such narrowly focused studies provide insufficient information to help solve the complex water problems faced by decision makers. An interdisciplinary team of water resources research faculty and community partners will attempt to fill in this gap through regularly meetings and discussions throughout summer 2011 and beyond.
The objectives of this study are threefold. First, we will review the current status of water resources research across multiple water sectors as they relate to climate change and land development at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Second, we plan to identify critical knowledge gaps and new research needs through a combination of literature review and interactions with community partners. Third, we will compile necessary basin data that are pivotal for developing an integrative basin information model and a decision support system. Participating team members will collectively gather and share such information and will discuss the utility of such information with community partners.
The anticipated outcomes of this project are (1) A synthesis paper summarizing major knowledge gaps and research needs for sustainable river basin management, (2) A website containing a conceptual framework for integrative river basin studies and basin information, and (3) a draft proposal that can be submitted to funding agencies.