State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2009ME176B
Title: Sustainable water allocation and rulemaking for Maine's surface waters: Adaptation consideration in a changing climate
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2009
End Date: 2/28/2010
Congressional District: 2
Focus Categories: None
Principal Investigator: Jain, Shaleen (University of Maine); Courtemanch, David; Hart, David D.
Federal Funds: $ 10,106
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 57,925
Abstract: The state of Maine's efforts toward implementing an effective framework for water use regulation directly contribute to the broad goal of environmental systems sustainability. The complexity and multiple dimensions of the problem (hydrologic, ecological, climate, and socioeconomic) necessitate an ongoing dialogue with stakeholders, managers and policy makers are all levels of decision-making. The role of increased scientific knowledge base to understand the nature and extent of linkages between hydrologic and ecological systems, as well as pre-empt and quantify recent and future hydrologic changes stemming from climate and other factors is a key element for assessing the adequacy of policy and rulemaking. The proposed research pursues this knowledge-to-action research with a goal to inform the policy formulation and implementation process that is adaptive to regional climate variability and change. The project focuses on the assessment of the role of natural hydroclimatic variability in modulating the hydrologic regime, their impact on flow metrics and rules for reliable water allocation and use, while maintaining ecosystem health. The impact of the water allocation rules of metrics of ecosystems health (based on statistical measures of streamflow variability) is also assessed with a goal to empirically link hydroclimatic variations and change to ecological flow requirements. The project continues initial research undertaken (collaboratively with the Maine DEP) through a one-year project from this USGS program. Within the context of the ongoing rulemaking efforts for water use (co-PI Courtemanch being the lead-author of the current draft), this research is firmly embedded in the statewide process of responding to stakeholder concerns and promoting sustainable water use to balance human and ecological flow needs.

Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF

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