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The impact of forest thinning on the reliability of water supply in central Arizona.

Simonit S, Connors JP, Yoo J, Kinzig A, Perrings C - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Economic growth in Central Arizona, as in other semiarid systems characterized by low and variable rainfall, has historically depended on the effectiveness of strategies to manage water supply risks.Traditionally, the management of supply risks includes three elements: hard infrastructures, landscape management within the watershed, and a supporting set of institutions of which water markets are frequently the most important.This represents an estimated net present value of surface water storage of $104 million, considering both water consumption and hydropower generation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: EcoServices Group, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, United States of America; International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Regional Office for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, San Josè, Costa Rica.

ABSTRACT
Economic growth in Central Arizona, as in other semiarid systems characterized by low and variable rainfall, has historically depended on the effectiveness of strategies to manage water supply risks. Traditionally, the management of supply risks includes three elements: hard infrastructures, landscape management within the watershed, and a supporting set of institutions of which water markets are frequently the most important. In this paper we model the interactions between these elements. A forest restoration initiative in Central Arizona (the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, or 4FRI) will result in thinning of ponderosa pine forests in the upper watershed, with potential implications for both sedimentation rates and water delivery to reservoirs. Specifically, we model the net effect of ponderosa pine forest thinning across the Salt and Verde River watersheds on the reliability and cost of water supply to the Phoenix metropolitan area. We conclude that the sediment impacts of forest thinning (up to 50% of canopy cover) are unlikely to compromise the reliability of the reservoir system while thinning has the potential to increase annual water supply by 8%. This represents an estimated net present value of surface water storage of $104 million, considering both water consumption and hydropower generation.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Net present value of the water-related benefits of forest thinning under different assumptions about the benefits of surface water to the generation of electric power.
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pone.0121596.g006: Net present value of the water-related benefits of forest thinning under different assumptions about the benefits of surface water to the generation of electric power.

Mentions: Because the price paid by consumers is below the true social opportunity cost of water we also considered the sensitivity of this result to the size of (at least) direct subsidies. We take the contributions to support water operations from electricity revenues within SRP to be a first approximation of the value of surface water storage for power generation. If the 2013 subsidy is used to project future values, we find that the NPV of the water-related benefits of thinning rises from $45.4 million to $103.7 million. Moreover, if the subsidy were to continue to rise at the same rate as it has from 2010, the NPV of the water-related benefits of thinning rises to $683 million (Fig. 6). There is no reason to believe that the subsidy will continue to rise at the same rate for the next 20 years, but the scenario illustrates how sensitive the water value of thinning is to assumptions made about water benefits beyond direct consumption.


The impact of forest thinning on the reliability of water supply in central Arizona.

Simonit S, Connors JP, Yoo J, Kinzig A, Perrings C - PLoS ONE (2015)

Net present value of the water-related benefits of forest thinning under different assumptions about the benefits of surface water to the generation of electric power.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4383454&req=5

pone.0121596.g006: Net present value of the water-related benefits of forest thinning under different assumptions about the benefits of surface water to the generation of electric power.
Mentions: Because the price paid by consumers is below the true social opportunity cost of water we also considered the sensitivity of this result to the size of (at least) direct subsidies. We take the contributions to support water operations from electricity revenues within SRP to be a first approximation of the value of surface water storage for power generation. If the 2013 subsidy is used to project future values, we find that the NPV of the water-related benefits of thinning rises from $45.4 million to $103.7 million. Moreover, if the subsidy were to continue to rise at the same rate as it has from 2010, the NPV of the water-related benefits of thinning rises to $683 million (Fig. 6). There is no reason to believe that the subsidy will continue to rise at the same rate for the next 20 years, but the scenario illustrates how sensitive the water value of thinning is to assumptions made about water benefits beyond direct consumption.

Bottom Line: Economic growth in Central Arizona, as in other semiarid systems characterized by low and variable rainfall, has historically depended on the effectiveness of strategies to manage water supply risks.Traditionally, the management of supply risks includes three elements: hard infrastructures, landscape management within the watershed, and a supporting set of institutions of which water markets are frequently the most important.This represents an estimated net present value of surface water storage of $104 million, considering both water consumption and hydropower generation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: EcoServices Group, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, United States of America; International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Regional Office for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, San Josè, Costa Rica.

ABSTRACT
Economic growth in Central Arizona, as in other semiarid systems characterized by low and variable rainfall, has historically depended on the effectiveness of strategies to manage water supply risks. Traditionally, the management of supply risks includes three elements: hard infrastructures, landscape management within the watershed, and a supporting set of institutions of which water markets are frequently the most important. In this paper we model the interactions between these elements. A forest restoration initiative in Central Arizona (the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, or 4FRI) will result in thinning of ponderosa pine forests in the upper watershed, with potential implications for both sedimentation rates and water delivery to reservoirs. Specifically, we model the net effect of ponderosa pine forest thinning across the Salt and Verde River watersheds on the reliability and cost of water supply to the Phoenix metropolitan area. We conclude that the sediment impacts of forest thinning (up to 50% of canopy cover) are unlikely to compromise the reliability of the reservoir system while thinning has the potential to increase annual water supply by 8%. This represents an estimated net present value of surface water storage of $104 million, considering both water consumption and hydropower generation.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus