Spatial fit between water quality policies and hydrologic ecosystem services in an urbanizing agricultural landscape

Abstract

Context

Sustaining hydrologic ecosystem services is critical for human wellbeing but challenged by land use for agriculture and urban development. Water policy and management strive to safeguard hydrologic services, yet implementation is often fragmented. Understanding the spatial fit between water polices and hydrologic services is needed to assess the spatial targeting of policy portfolios at landscape scales.

Objectives

We investigated spatial fit between 30 different public water policies and four hydrologic services (surface and groundwater quality, freshwater supply, and flood regulation) in the Yahara Watershed (Wisconsin, USA)—a Midwestern landscape that typifies tensions between agriculture, urban development, and freshwater resources.

Methods

Spatial extent of water policy implementation was mapped, and indicators of hydrologic services were quantified for subwatersheds using empirical estimates and validated spatial models.

Results

We found a spatial misfit between the overall spatial implementation of water policy and regions of water quality concern, indicating a need for better targeting. Water quality policies can also be leveraged to protect other hydrologic services such as freshwater supply and flood regulation. Individual policy application areas varied substantially in their spatial congruence with each hydrologic service, indicating that not all services are protected by a single policy and highlighting the need for a broad spectrum of policies to sustain hydrologic services in diverse landscapes. We also identified where future policies could be targeted for improving hydrologic services.

Conclusions

Joint spatial analysis of policies and ecosystem services is effective for assessing spatial aspects of institutional fit, and provides a foundation for guiding future policy efforts.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8

References

  1. Allan JD, McIntyre PB, Smith SDP, Halpern BS, Boyer GL, Buchsbaum A, Burton GA, Campbell LM, Chadderton WL, Ciborowski JJ, Doran PJ (2013) Joint analysis of stressors and ecosystem services to enhance restoration effectiveness. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110(1):372–377

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Allan JD, Smith SDP, McIntyre PB, Allan JD, Smith SD, McIntyre PB, Joseph CA, Dickinson CE, Marino AL, Biel RG, Olson JC, Doran PJ, Rutherford ES, Adkins JE (2015) Using cultural ecosystem services to inform restoration priorities in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Front Ecol Environ 13(8):418–424

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Allen JD (2004) Landscapes and riverscapes: the influence of land use on stream ecosystems. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35:257–284

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Andelman SJ, Fagan WF (2000) Umbrellas and flagships: efficient conservation surrogates or expensive mistakes? Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 97(11):5954–5959

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  5. Asbjornsen H, Mayer AS, Jones KW, Selfa T, Saenz L, Kolka RK, Halvorsen KE (2015) Assessing impacts of payments for watershed services on sustainability in coupled human and natural systems. BioScience 65(6):579–591

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bengston DN, Fletcher JO, Nelson KC (2004) Public policies for managing urban growth and protecting open space: policy instruments and lessons learned in the United States. Landsc Urban Plan 69(2–3):271–286

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Bennett EM, Peterson GD, Gordon LJ (2009) Understanding relationships among multiple ecosystem services. Ecol Lett 12(12):1394–1404

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Biswas AK (2004) Integrated water resources management: a reassessment. Water Int 29(1):398–405

    Google Scholar 

  9. Brauman KA, Daily GC, Duarte TK, Mooney HA (2007) The nature and value of ecosystem services: an overview highlighting hydrologic services. Annu Rev Env Resour 32:67–98

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Brown K (2003) Integrating conservation and development: a case of institutional misfit. Front Ecol Environ 1(9):479–487

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Buchwald CA (2005) Water use in Wisconsin, 2005. Open-File Report 2009-1076. U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey, Reston

    Google Scholar 

  12. Carpenter SR, Benson BJ, Biggs R, Carpenter SR, Benson BJ, Biggs R, Chipman JW, Foley JA, Golding SA, Hammer RB, Hanson PC, Johnson PT, Kamarainen AM, Kratz TK (2007) Understanding regional change: a comparison of two lake districts. BioScience 57(4):323–335

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Carpenter SR, Caraco NF, Correll DL, Howarth RW, Sharpley AN, Smith VH (1998) Nonpoint pollution of surface waters with phosphorus and nitrogen. Ecol Appl 8(3):559–568

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Carpenter SR, Lathrop RC, Nowak P, Bennett EM, Reed T, Soranno PA (2006) The ongoing experiment: restoration of Lake Mendota and its watershed. In: Magnuson JJ, Kratz TK, Benson BJ (eds) Long-term dynamics of lakes in the landscape: long-term ecological research on north temperate lakes. Oxford University Press, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  15. Carpenter SR, Stanley EH, Vander Zanden MJ (2011) State of the world’s freshwater ecosystems: physical, chemical, and biological changes. Annu Rev Env Resour 36:75–99

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Carter V, Novitzki R (1987) Some comments on the relation between ground water and wetlands. In: Hook DD, McKee WH, Smith HK, Gregory J, Burrell VG, DeVoe MR, Sojka RE, Gilbert S, Banks R, Stolzy LH, Brooks C, Matthews ThD, Shear TH (eds) The ecology and management of wetlands. Springer, NewYork, pp 68–86

    Google Scholar 

  17. Doremus H (2003) A policy portfolio approach to biodiversity protection on private lands. Environ Sci Policy 6(3):217–232

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Dripps WR, Bradbury KR (2007) A simple daily soil–water balance model for estimating the spatial and temporal distribution of groundwater recharge in temperate humid areas. Hydrogeol J 15(3):433–444

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Ekstrom JA, Young OR (2009) Evaluating functional fit between a set of institutions and an ecosystem. Ecol Soc 14(2):62

    Google Scholar 

  20. Fairfax SK, Gwin L, King MA, Raymond L, Watt LA (2005) Buying nature: the limits of land acquisition as a conservation strategy, 1780–2004. The MIT Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  21. Fry JA, Xian G, Jin S, Dewitz JA, Homer CG, Limin Y, Barnes CA, Herold ND, Wickham JD (2011) Completion of the 2006 national land cover data for the conteminous United States. Photogramm Eng Remote Sens 77(9):858–864

    Google Scholar 

  22. Genskow KD (2012) Taking stock of voluntary nutrient management: measuring and tracking change. J Soil Water Conserv 67(1):51–58

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Gilinsky E, Baker M, Capacasa J, King ES (2009) An urgent call to action—report of the State-EPA Nutrient Innovations Task Group. US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  24. Gillon S, Booth EG, Rissman AR (2015) Shifting drivers and static baselines in environmental governance: challenges for improving and proving water quality outcomes. Reg Environ Change 16:759–775

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Gordon LJ, Peterson GD, Bennett EM (2008) Agricultural modifications of hydrological flows create ecological surprises. Trends Ecol Evol 23(4):211–219

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. Guerra CA, Metzger MJ, Maes J, Pinto-Correia T (2015) Policy impacts on regulating ecosystem services: looking at the implications of 60 years of landscape change on soil erosion prevention in a Mediterranean silvo-pastoral system. Landscape Ecol 31(2):1–20

    Google Scholar 

  27. Harrison-Atlas D, Theobald DM, Goldstein JH (2016) A systematic review of approaches to quantify hydrologic ecosystem services to inform decision making. Int J Biodivers Sci Ecosyst Serv Manage. doi:10.1080/21513732.2016.1181105

    Google Scholar 

  28. Herrmann S, Osinski E (1999) Planning sustainable land use in rural areas at different spatial levels using GIS and modelling tools. Landsc Urban Plan 46(1–3):93–101

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Hershfield DM (1963) Rainfall frequency atlas of the United States: for durations from 30 minutes to 24 hours and return periods from 1 to 100 years. Technical Paper No. 40. US Department of Commerce, Weather Bureau

  30. Jones KB, Zurlini G, Kienast F, Petrosillo I, Edwards T, Wade TG, Li BL, Zaccarelli N (2013) Informing landscape planning and design for sustaining ecosystem services from existing spatial patterns and knowledge. Landscape Ecol 28(6):1175–1192

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Kareiva P, Tallis H, Ricketts T, Daily G, Polasky S (eds) (2011) Natural capital: theory and practice of mapping ecosystem services. Oxford University, New York

    Google Scholar 

  32. Langpap C (2006) Conservation of endangered species: can incentives work for private landowners? Ecol Econ 57(4):558–572

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Lathrop RC (2007) Perspectives on the eutrophication of the Yahara lakes. Lake Reserv Manage 23(4):345–365

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Lavoie R, Lebel A, Joerin F, Rodriguez MJ (2013) Integration of groundwater information into decision making for regional planning: a portrait for North America. J Environ Manage 114:496–504

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. Lubell M (2004) Collaborative watershed management: a view from the grassroots. Policy Stud J 32(3):341–361

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Maes J, Egoh B, Willemen L, Liquete C, Vihervaara P, Schägner JP, Grizzetti B, Drakou EG, La Notte A, Zulian G, Bouraoui F (2012) Mapping ecosystem services for policy support and decision making in the European Union. Ecosyst Serv 1(1):31–39

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Margules CR, Pressey RL (2000) Systematic conservation planning. Nature 405(6783):243–253

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  38. Marinoni O, Higgins A, Coad P, Garcia JN (2013) Directing urban development to the right places: assessing the impact of urban development on water quality in an estuarine environment. Landsc Urban Plan 113:62–77

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and human well-being: current state and trends. Island, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  40. Montgomery Associates (2011) Yahara CLEAN non-point source modeling report for the Dane County Department of Land and Water Resources. Montgomery Associates, Cottage Grove

    Google Scholar 

  41. Morris AW, Rissman AR (2009) Public access to information on private land conservation: tracking conservation easements. Wis Law Rev 2009:1237–1435

    Google Scholar 

  42. Moss T (2012) Spatial fit, from panacea to practice: implementing the EU Water Framework Directive. Ecol Soc 17(3):2

    Google Scholar 

  43. Mubako ST, Ruddell BL, Mayer AS (2013) Relationship between water withdrawals and freshwater ecosystem water scarcity quantified at multiple scales for a Great Lakes watershed. J Water Res PL-ASCE 139(6):671–681

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Nedkov S, Burkhard B (2012) Flood regulating ecosystem services—mapping supply and demand, in the Etropole municipality, Bulgaria. Ecol Indic 21:67–79

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Newig J, Gunther D, Pahl-Wostl C (2010) Synapses in the network: learning in governance networks in the context of environmental management. Ecol Soc 15(4):24

    Google Scholar 

  46. Nowak P, Bowen S, Cabot PE (2006) Disproportionality as a framework for linking social and biophysical systems. Soc Nat Resour 19(2):153–173

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Ostrom E (1990) Governing the commons: the evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  48. Owen D (2013) Mapping, modeling, and the fragmentation of environmental Law. Utah Law Review 2013(1):219–282

    Google Scholar 

  49. Perez MR (2015) Regulating farmer nutrient management: a three-state case study on the Delmarva Pennisula. J Environ Qual 44(2):402–414

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  50. Piorr A, Ungaro F, Ciancaglini A, Happe K, Sahrbacher A, Sattler C, Uthes S, Zander P (2009) Integrated assessment of future CAP policies: land use changes, spatial patterns and targeting. Environ Sci Policy 12(8):1122–1136

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Qiu J, Turner MG (2013) Spatial interactions among ecosystem services in an urbanizing agricultural watershed. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110(29):12149–12154

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  52. Qiu J, Turner MG (2015) Importance of landscape heterogeneity in sustaining hydrologic ecosystem services in an agricultural watershed. Ecosphere 11(6):1–19

    Google Scholar 

  53. Qiu Z, Dosskey MG (2012) Multiple function benefit—cost comparison of conservation buffer placement strategies. Landsc Urban Plan 107(2):89–99

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. R Development Core Team (2009) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Development Core Team, Vienna. http://www.R-project.org

  55. Ribaudo M (2015) The limits of voluntary conservation programs. Choices 30(2):1–5

    Google Scholar 

  56. Rissman AR, Smail R (2015) Accounting for results: how conservation organizations report performance information. Envrion Manage 55(4):916–929

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Salamon LM, Elliot OV (2002) The tools of government: a guide to the newgovernance. Oxford University Press, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  58. Shortle JS, Ribaudo M, Horan RD, Blandford D (2012) Reforming agricultural nonpoint pollution policy in an increasingly budget-constrained environment. Environ Sci Technol 46(3):1316–1325

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  59. Spalding RF, Exner ME (1993) Occurrence of nitrate in groundwater—a review. J Environ Qual 22(3):392–402

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Stedman RC, Lathrop RC, Clark B, Stedman RC, Lathrop RC, Clark B, Ejsmont-Karabin J, Kasprzak P, Nielsen K, Osgood D, Powell M, Ventelä AM, Webster KE, Zhukova A (2007) Perceived environmental quality and place attachment in North American and European temperate lake districts. Lake Reserv Manage 23(4):330–344

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Strand Associates (2013) Yahara CLEAN engineering report for Clean Lakes Alliance. Madison. https://www.cleanlakesalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Strategic-Action-Plan-11092012.pdf

  62. Tallis H, Polasky S (2009) Mapping and valuing ecosystem services as an approach for conservation and natural resource Management. Year Ecol Conserv Biol 1162(1):265–283

    Google Scholar 

  63. Uriarte M, Yacklic CB, Lim Y, Arce-Nazario JA (2011) Influence of land use on water quality in a tropical landscape: a multi-scale analysis. Landscape Ecol 26:1151–1164

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. van der Horst D (2007) Assessing the efficiency gains of improved spatial targeting of policy interventions: the example of an agri-environmental scheme. J Environ Manage 85(4):1076–1087

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  65. Wardropper CB, Chang CY, Rissman AR (2015) Fragmented water quality governance: constraints to spatial targeting for nutrient reduction in a Midwestern USA watershed. Landsc Urban Plan 137:64–75

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Warren PS, Ryan RL, Lerman SB, Tooke KA (2011) Social and institutional factors associated with land use and forest conservation along two urban gradients in Massachusetts. Landsc Urban Plan 102(2):82–92

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Winter TC (1999) Relation of streams, lakes, and wetlands to groundwater flow systems. Hydrogeol J 7(1):28–45

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Wu J (2013) Landscape sustainability science: ecosystem services and human well-being in changing landscapes. Landscape Ecol 28(6):999–1023

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. Wu J, Hobbs R (2002) Key issues and research priorities in landscape ecology: an idiosyncratic synthesis. Landscape Ecol 17(4):355–365

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Wunscher T, Engel S, Wunder S (2008) Spatial targeting of payments for environmental services: a tool for boosting conservation benefits. Ecol Econ 65(4):822–833

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. Young OR (2002) The institutional dimensions of environmental change: fit, interplay, and scale. MIT Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  72. Young OR, Lambin EF, Alcock F, Haberl H, Karlsson SI, McConnell WJ, Myint T, Pahl-Wostl C, Polsky C, Ramakrishnan PS, Schroeder H, Scouvart M, Verburg PH (2006) A portfolio approach to analyzing complex human–environment interactions: institutions and land change. Ecol Soc 11(2):31

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We thank Eric Booth and Chaoyi Chang for providing technical support on this study. Eric Booth provided valuable inputs and helpful comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript. We also appreciate constructive comments from four anonymous reviewers that greatly improved this manuscript. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation Water Sustainability and Climate grant (DEB 1038759) and Northern Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research (DEB 1440297).

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jiangxiao Qiu.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 19 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Qiu, J., Wardropper, C.B., Rissman, A.R. et al. Spatial fit between water quality policies and hydrologic ecosystem services in an urbanizing agricultural landscape. Landscape Ecol 32, 59–75 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-016-0428-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Freshwater
  • Spatial overlap
  • Policy targeting
  • Surface-water quality
  • Groundwater quality
  • Groundwater recharge
  • Flood regulation
  • Landscape ecology
  • Yahara Watershed
  • Wisconsin