Skip to main content

Optimal Ecological Management Practices (EMPs) for Minimizing the Impact of Climate Change and Watershed Degradation Due to Urbanization

Abstract

Massive deforestation induced by unplanned urbanization in the hilly watersheds of Brahmaputra basin, India, has led to ecological imbalance and is gradually transforming this basin into a multi-hazard zone. Removal of green cover is also becoming a matter of global concern, as it can accelerate the adverse impacts of climate change. People coming in search of work generally reside in the hills, as they cannot afford the high cost of land in plains. This has led to deforestation of the hilly area and has resulted in increased surface erosion from the upper catchments. Though sediment and water yield from these degraded watersheds could have been minimized by implementing ecologically sustainable management practices (EMPs), such as grass land, forest land and detention pond, poor economic conditions of the people stands in the way of field implementation. On the other hand, major industries, which can be held responsible for emission of greenhouse gases, can be asked to finance greenery development in these hilly watersheds through implementation of selected EMPs to earn carbon credit for them. To convert this concept into reality, the EMP combination must be selected in such a way that it restricts sediment and water yield from the watershed within the permissible limit and maximizes its carbon sequestration capacity at minimum possible cost. Such optimal planning is a prerequisite for preparing an acceptable logical agreement between Government and private companies. Keeping this in mind, an optimization model was developed and applied to a micro watershed of Guwahati to explore its applicability in actual field. The model developed in this study provides most logical carbon credit negotiation, subject to the availability of reliable value of CO2 sequestration for different EMPs.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

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

References

  • Bao C, Fang C (2012) Water Resources Flows Related to Urbanization in China: Challenges and Perspectives for Water Management and Urban Development. Water Resource Management 26:531–552

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Biggs TW, Atkinson E, Powell R, Revah LO (2010) Land cover following rapid urbanization on the US–Mexico border: Implications for conceptual models of urban watershed processes. Landscape and Urban Planning 96:78–87

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brun SE, Band LE (2000) Simulating runoff behavior in an urbanizing watershed. Computers Environment and Urban Systems 24:5–22

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • GMDA Building By-Laws (2006) Building By-Laws for Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (http://gmda.co.in/bldg_byelaws.htm as browse on 10th April 2012)

  • Freibauer A, Rounsevell MDA, Smith P, Verhagen J (2004) Carbon sequestration in the agricultural soils of Europe. Geoderma 122:1–23

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gabriel SA, Faria JA, Moglen GE (2006) Multiobjective optimization approach to smart growth in land development. Socio-Economic Planning Science 40:212–248

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Han Y, Huang YF, Wang GQ, Maqsood I (2011) A Multi-objective Linear Programming Model with Interval Parameters for Water Resources Allocation in Dalian City. Water Resource Management 25:449–463. doi:10.1007/s11269-010-9708-7

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hsieh CD, Yang WF (2007) Optimal non point source pollution control strategies for a reservoir watershed in Taiwan. Journal of Environmental Management 85:908–917

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ibrahim MB (2009) Rainwater Harvesting for Urban Areas: a Success Story from Gadarif City in Central Sudan. Water Resource Management 23:2727–2736

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Iowa Stormwater Management Manual (2008) Manual prepared by Iowa State University (2C-4). Version2. URL-http://www.intrans.iastate.edu/pubs/stormwater/Design/2C/2C-4%20Rational%20Method.pdf

  • Jandl R, Lindner M, Vesterdal L, Bauwens B, Baritz R, Hagedorn F, Johnson DW, Minkkinen K, Byrne A (2007) How strongly can forest management influence soil carbon sequestration? Geoderma 137:253–268

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jones JC, Ball R (2010) The carbon sequestration capacity of trees expressed in monetary terms. The Open Thermodynamics Journal 4:220–221

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jong BHJD, Tipper R, Montoya-Go´mez G (2000) An economic analysis of the potential for carbon sequestration by forests: evidence from southern Mexico. Ecological Economics 33:313–327

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kaini P, Artita K, Nicklow WJ (2012) Optimizing Structural Best Management Practices Using SWAT and Genetic Algorithm to Improve Water Quality Goals. Water Resource Management 26:1827–1845. doi:10.1007/s11269-012-9989-0

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kondoh A, Nishiyama J (2000) Changes in hydrological cycle due to urbanization in the Tokyo metropolitan area, Japan. Advence Space Research 26(7):1173–1176

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lal R (2004) Soil carbon sequestration to mitigate climate change. Geoderm 123:1–22

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lal R (2005) Forest soils and carbon sequestration. Forest Ecology and Management 220:242–258

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lasco RD, Joveno S, Lales M, Theresa A, Guillermo IQ, de AC J, Medrano R, Bajar OF, Mendoza CV (2002) Carbon dioxide (CO2) storage and sequestration of land cover in the Leyte Geothermal Reservation. Renewable Energy 25:307–315

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Misra AK (2011) Impact of Urbanization on the Hydrology of Ganga Basin (India). Water Resource Management 25:705–719. doi:10.1007/s11269-010-9722-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mukheibir P (2008) Water Resources Management Strategies for Adaptation to Climate-Induced Impacts in South Africa. Water Resource Management 22:1259–1276. doi:10.1007/s11269-007-9224-6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Renard KG, Foster GR, Weesies GA, McCool DK, Yoder DC (1997) Predicting Soil Erosion by Water: A Guide to Conservation Planning with the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). USDA Agricultural Handbook. No 703

  • Riveira IS, Marcos BM, Rafael CM, David MB (2008) Algorithm based on simulated annealing for land-use allocation. Computers & Geoscience 34:259–268

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sarma AK, Goswami P (2004) Developing Intensity Duration Curve with Limited Rainfall Data, In the Book Predictions in ungauged Basins for Sustainable Water Resource Planning and Management”. Jain Brothers, New Delhi, pp 187–194

    Google Scholar 

  • Sarma AK, Chandramouli V, Singh B, Goswami P, Rajbongshi N (2005) Urban Flood Hazard Mitigation of Guwahati City by Silt monitoring and watershed modeling. Report submitted to Ministry of Human Resources Department (MHRD) by Dept. of Civil Engg., IIT Guwahati

  • Sarma AK, Giraud G, Baishya MD (2006) Rainwater Harvesting for Urban Flood Peak Reduction, My Green Earth. Journal of Society for Socio Economic Awareness and Environment Protection 3(2):14–21

    Google Scholar 

  • Shi XZ, Wang HJ, Yu DS, David C, Cheng XF, Pan XZ, Sun WX, Chen JM (2009) Potential for soil carbon sequestration of eroded areas in subtropical China. Soil & Tillage Research 105:322–327

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Short MD, Peirson WL, Peters GM, Cox RJ (2012) Managing Adaptation of Urban Water Systems in a Changing Climate. Water Resource Management 26:1953–1981. doi:10.1007/s11269-012-0002-8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stone RP, Hilborn D (2000) Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE), Factsheets, Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Rural Affairs; ISSN-1198-712X (www.gov.on.ca/omafra as browse on 17th May 2011)

  • Toy TJ, Foster GR, Galetovic JR (1998) Guidelines for the Use of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) Version 1.06, URL: http://www.greenfix.com/Channel%20Web/pdfs/RUSLE%20Guidelines.pdf

  • Viessman WJ, Lewis GL (2008) Introduction to Hydrology .5th Edition. Prentice Hall of India. ISBN: 978-61-203-3368-0

  • Wall GJ, Coote DR, Pringle EA, Shelton IJ (2002) RUSLEFAC — Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation for Application in Canada: A Handbook for Estimating Soil Loss from Water Erosion in Canada. Research Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Ottawa. Contribution No. AAFC/AAC2244E. 117

  • Wang X, Yu S, Huang GH (2004) Land allocation based on integrated GIS-optimization modeling at a watershed level. Landscape and Urban Planning 66:61–74

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wang Y, Fu B, Lü Y, Chen L (2011) Effects of vegetation restoration on soil organic carbon sequestration at multiple scales in semi-arid Loess Plateau, China. Catena 85:58–66

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The work presented here is a part of the research work under Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Govt. of India sponsored project on Centre of Excellence (CoE) for “Integrated Landuse Planning and Water Resource Management.” The authors would like to thank Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Govt. of India for their financial support of this research work.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to B. Sarma.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sarma, B., Sarma, A.K. & Singh, V.P. Optimal Ecological Management Practices (EMPs) for Minimizing the Impact of Climate Change and Watershed Degradation Due to Urbanization. Water Resour Manage 27, 4069–4082 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-013-0396-y

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-013-0396-y

Keywords

  • Carbon sequestration
  • Ecological Management Practices
  • Urban watershed
  • Optimization