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Article

Simulating a Watershed-Scale Strategy to Mitigate Drought, Flooding, and Sediment Transport in Drylands

1
College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8003, USA
2
New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 August 2019 / Revised: 1 November 2019 / Accepted: 5 November 2019 / Published: 28 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue System Dynamics: Insights and Policy Innovation)
Drylands today are facing a landscape-scale water storage problem. Throughout the increasingly arid Southwest of the United States, vegetation loss in upland watersheds is leading to floods that scour soils and transport sediment that clogs downstream riparian areas and agricultural infrastructure. The resulting higher flow energies and diminished capacity to infiltrate flood flows are depleting soil water storage across the landscape, negatively impacting agriculture and ecosystems. Land and water managers face challenges to reverse the trends due to the complex interacting social and biogeophysical root causes. Presented here is an integrative system dynamics model that simulates innovative and transformative management scenarios. These scenarios include the natural and hydro-social processes and feedback dynamics critical for achieving long-term mitigation of droughts, flooding, and sediment transport. This model is a component of the Flood Flow Connectivity to the Landscape framework, which integrates spatial and hydrologic process models. Scenarios of support and collaboration for land management innovations are simulated to connect flood flow to the floodplains throughout the watershed to replenish soil storage and shallow groundwater aquifers across regional scales. The results reveal the management policy levers and trade-off balances critical for restoring management and water storage capacity to the system for long-term resilience. View Full-Text
Keywords: connectivity; stormwater; flood, land, and watershed management; FlowCon; drought mitigation; sediment transport; floodplain reconnection; system dynamics; drylands; ephemeral, intermittent, and temporary waterways connectivity; stormwater; flood, land, and watershed management; FlowCon; drought mitigation; sediment transport; floodplain reconnection; system dynamics; drylands; ephemeral, intermittent, and temporary waterways
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MDPI and ACS Style

Maxwell, C.M.; Langarudi, S.P.; Fernald, A.G. Simulating a Watershed-Scale Strategy to Mitigate Drought, Flooding, and Sediment Transport in Drylands. Systems 2019, 7, 53. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/systems7040053

AMA Style

Maxwell CM, Langarudi SP, Fernald AG. Simulating a Watershed-Scale Strategy to Mitigate Drought, Flooding, and Sediment Transport in Drylands. Systems. 2019; 7(4):53. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/systems7040053

Chicago/Turabian Style

Maxwell, Connie M., Saeed P. Langarudi, and Alexander G. Fernald 2019. "Simulating a Watershed-Scale Strategy to Mitigate Drought, Flooding, and Sediment Transport in Drylands" Systems 7, no. 4: 53. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/systems7040053

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