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Principles of Sustainability Outline Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable Indicator Examples Alan D. Steinman, Ph.D. Annis Water Resources Institute.

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Presentation on theme: "Principles of Sustainability Outline Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable Indicator Examples Alan D. Steinman, Ph.D. Annis Water Resources Institute."— Presentation transcript:

1 Principles of Sustainability Outline Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable Indicator Examples Alan D. Steinman, Ph.D. Annis Water Resources Institute Grand Valley State University Muskegon, MI Criteria & Indicators

2 Language in PA No. 148: (a)Sec (2): The council shall Study the sustainability of the state’s groundwater use and whether the state should provide additional oversight of groundwater withdrawals

3 Principles of Sustainability

4 Brundtland Commission (World Environment and Development Commission, 1987) Sustainable development: meets the needs of the present while not compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. encompasses the environmental, economic, and social systems and their contribution to meeting human needs.

5 Principles Regarding Sustainability in Water Resources “The sustainable development of water resources is a multi-dimensional way of thinking about the interdependencies among natural, social, and economic systems in the use of water. In this view, our efforts to achieve economic vitality should occur in the context of the enhancement and preservation of ecological integrity, social well-being, and security.” Source: Kranz, Gasteyer, Heintz, Shafer, and Steinman (2004)

6 Sustainability of Water Resources Involves: - policies, plans, and activities that improve equality of access to water - recognizes that there are limits and boundaries of water use beyond which ecosystem behavior might change in unanticipated ways - requires consideration of interactions occurring across different geographic scales: global, national, regional, and local - challenges us to look to the future and to assess and understand the implications of decisions made today on the lives and livelihoods of future generations and the ecosystems upon which they depend. Source: Kranz, Gasteyer, Heintz, Shafer, and Steinman (2004)

7 Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable

8 (SWRR) Purpose: Serve as a forum to share information and perspectives that will promote better decision making in the US regarding the sustainable development of our nation’s water resources

9 The Sustainable Roundtables are public/private efforts to develop sets of national-scale sustainability criteria and indicators for the nation’s resources

10 Sustainable Roundtables exist for fresh water, forest, rangeland, and minerals

11 Participants include Federal agencies, as well as representatives of industry, academia, Tribal governments and NGO’s.

12 The Roundtables are developing a comprehensive set of criteria and indicators to assess our progress toward sustainable resource management.

13 There are many definitions of Sustainable Development because there is disagreement about how to balance the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainability.

14 Progress toward social, economic, and environmental sustainability, however it is defined, can be tracked through the use of criteria and indicators.

15 Criteria and Indicators

16 What is meant by the use of criteria and indicators Criteria: technical properties that help to choose an indicator Criteria should not be directional (SWRR) Example: – Inappropriate: increase water for the environment – Appropriate: adequate water supply and timing for the environment

17 What is meant by the use of criteria and indicators Indicators: measurements that track conditions over time; should be scientifically defensible, quantifiable, consistent, and understandable Examples: – Groundwater quality – Groundwater withdrawal depth

18 Background (SWRR) The indicators sets should consider all aspects of resource systems so as to provide a balanced outlook; The indicators are national scale, though many are based on local data; and The indicators are not intended to be used for new regulatory development and there are no associated reporting requirements.

19 Use of Indicators The indicators will contribute to the Congressionally mandated 2005 Update of the 2000 Resource Planning Act Assessment; The indicators will be refined over time and may become part of the overall indicator set used in the US to assess our progress toward a sustainable America; and The indicators will support an informed debate about water systems and their contribution to sustainability

20 Develop Sustainable Water Resources GOAL CRITERIA INDICATORS MEASURES Residential water supply Adequate water supply Ecosystem water supply Agricultural & utility water supply Hydroperiod Natural variability Water demands Reservoir stage Water demands Reservoir stage Natural CapitalEconomic CapitalSocial Capital Relationship among goal, criteria, indicators and measures within capital.

21 Adequate Water Supply for Agriculture Proportion Groundwater/ Surface Water Supply GOAL CRITERIA INDICATORS Develop Sustainable Water Resources Economic Capital System Ex. Present Flow Rate/10 yr Average Flow Adequate Water Supply for Electric Production Mean Reservoir Depth Water Quality Groundwater Withdrawal Depth Irrigation Water Cost Snow Pack Condition Annual Precipitation Rate Water Recycling

22 Examples of sustainability indices

23 Universal Sujoy, Goldstein and Summers (USGS) Sustainability Indices Water Supply Sustainability Index Thermoelectric Cooling Constraint Index Based on easily accessible data Include multiple assumptions Unquantified uncertainties Basis for more detailed analysis of sustainability issues A Survey of Water Use and Sustainability in the United States with a Focus on Power Generation (EPRI ) Freshwater Withdrawal

24 Annual, Cumulative Monthly Precipitation Minus ET, Ave

25 Groundwater Withdrawal /Available Precipitation (1995)

26 Summer Deficit 1995 Using 3-Year Rolling Average Minimum Precipitation

27 Change in Summer Deficit, Business as Usual,

28 Water Supply Sustainability Index: EPRI Extent of development of available renewable water: –use of available precipitation Sustainable groundwater use: –ratio of groundwater withdrawal to available precipitation Environmental regulatory limits on freshwater withdrawals: –number of aquatic endangered species Susceptibility to drought: –summer deficit during low precipitation years Growth of water use: –Increase of freshwater withdrawals from 1995 to 2025 New requirements for storage or withdrawal from storage: –increase in summer deficit from 1995 to 2025

29 Developing Indicators of Freshwater Ecosystems Dan Tunstall W ORLD R ESOURCES I NSTITUTE

30 WRI Indicators  Value Indicators  Condition Indicators  Risk indicators

31 Value Indicators What is the extent and location of each ecosystem or habitat type? What is the distribution of goods and services derived by the ecosystem (e.g., priority areas for the conservation of particular species) What is the quantity and value of the good or service being produced?

32 Condition Indicators How has the ecosystem changed through time? What pressures and changes is it experiencing today? Is the capacity of that system to provide that service being enhanced or diminished over time? What is the condition and changing capacity of the ecosystem?

33 Risk Indicators What pressures and changes is the ecosystem experiencing today? What are the potential threats to species or ecosystems? Where are the areas at risk? (Projections of key threats and pressures)

34 Summary Sustainability must take into account the environmental, economic, and social sectors Criteria and indicators are useful ways to characterize and track sustainability Recommend that the council develop groundwater criteria and indicators to assess sustainability for final report


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