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Spatial and Temporal Management of Forest Cover and Urban Impacts for Water Resources Sustainability

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Principal Investigator/Project Leader: 
Department of Project: 
Department of Environmental Conservation
Project Description: 

Urbanizing watersheds in the northeastern United States face rapid changes in forest cover, urbanization, and conflicts in water use (USGS, 2002) that require careful evaluation of trends in components of the watershed system. This research will evaluate land use/land cover changes, assess their impacts on surface and groundwater supplies, and evaluate forest management strategies in a rapidly urbanizing watershed in southeastern Massachusetts. Opportunities to manage water supplies using water harvesting methods (reduce and capture runoff and groundwater recharge through increasing forest cover) will be evaluated at a spatially explicit scale. The analysis will also examine implications for surface harvest and groundwater recharge potential with the use of increasing open space and low impact development (LID) methods. Research results will benefit policy makers, water suppliers, resource managers, planning agencies and communities faced with the challenges of providing adequate water supplies in areas of increasing growth and development.

Environmental Conservation topics: 
Watershed & Water Quality
Water topics: 
Water Conservation
Water Resources
Watershed & Water Quality