SNAPP TEAM:Water Flow Impact
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How can short and long term source water protection programs alleviate the risks posed by both water shortages and excess water?

Maintaining reliable freshwater flows is essential for human health and well-being, sustainable economic development, and ecological integrity. This means a minimum amount of water in our rivers and streams during dry seasons, and high flows that are within natural ranges of variation during wet seasons. Floods and droughts are expected to increase with continued shifts in climate. To effectively implement the right actions in the right places in specific watersheds, we need to understand how and where different source water protection actions can contribute to achieving reliable freshwater flows.


OUR APPROACH: To address this issue, this team brings together hydrology and adaptation experts to examine the science, and then work with stakeholder group representatives to interpret the meaning of that science through the lens of those groups: downstream utilities and municipal managers, humanitarian groups working with upstream communities, and aquatic ecologists.

This project is funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant GBMF7100 to The Nature Conservancy to support the work of the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP).

Team Status: ONGOING
Team Critical Challenge:
  • Synthesize the best available science on how land use and vegetation change impacts baseflows, flooding, and groundwater recharge, to assess levels of confidence around relationships in different contexts and identify information gaps.
  • Summarize, in language accessible to key audiences, what the scientific evidence says about the potential for different source water activities to generate meaningful impacts related to baseflows, flooding, and groundwater recharge to inform the design of realistic and effective source water protection programs.
  • Produce ‘principles and guidance’ documentation to help water funds and other source water protection programs evaluate the potential for land-based adaptation to hydrologically-mediated impacts from land use change and climate change.
  • Develop and populate a searchable online portal of key peer-review papers, gray literature, and associated data to streamline the process of finding and accessing specific, relevant information.
Kari Vigerstol
The Nature Conservancy
Adrian Vogl
Stanford University
Robin Abell
Conservation International
Albert van Dijk
Australia National University
Bernardete Neves
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)
Bert de Bievre
Fondo para la protección del Agua (FONAG)
Daniela Giardina
David Wilk
Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)
Jan Cassin
Jeanne Nel
Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
John Matthews
Alliance for Global Water Adaptation
Kate Brauman
University of Minnesota
Katharine Cross
International Water Association
Kris Johnson
The Nature Conservancy
Louise Stafford
The Nature Conservancy
Maija Bertule
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)- DHI
Neil McIntyre
University of Queensland
Paul Hicks
Catholic Relief Services
Rob Wilby
Loughborough University
Robert Stallard
U.S. Geological Survey
Suzanne Ozment
World Resources Institute
Ted Grantham
University of California, Berkeley
Tom Gleeson
University of Victoria
Wouter Buytaert
Imperial College
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