Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2013HI421B

Forecasting climate change impacts on watershed-based ecosystem services in Hawaii: A participatory modeling approach

Institute: Hawaii
Year Established: 2013 Start Date: 2013-03-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $30,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $126,874

Principal Investigators: Steven Gray, Ali Fares, Christopher Lepczyk

Abstract: Through the development of a novel methodology that demonstrates how existing watershed models (DHSVM, N-SPECT, AnnAGNPS) can be integrated with new participatory modeling approaches (FCM, Mental Modeler) this research will define how changes in water quality and quantity will affect important provisioning (e.g., coastal fisheries), regulating (e.g., erosion) and cultural (e.g., recreational and heritage value) services provided by Hawaiian watersheds. Additionally, these model impacts will be communicated in terms directly relevant to, and defined by, watershed stakeholders and decision-makers thereby increasing their relevancy to a broader audience, intended to foster more inclusive adaptation planning. By utilizing and refining existing watershed data collected in the Hanalei Bay Watershed on the Island of Kauai as a case study, and partnerships with local watershed managers (Hanalei Watershed Hui), federal government agencies (Army Corps of Engineers, USFWS), and interviews and workshops with relevant Hawaiian community stakeholders (native citizens, coastal fishermen, farmers) this study will develop a new formal methodology for understanding how climate change will affect (1) watershed-based ecosystem services and (2) the well-being of watershed stakeholders. The method piloted in this study will help Hanalei watershed stakeholders reduce uncertainty associated with current climate projection while increasing the representation of stakeholder knowledge in watershed planning. Further, the method is expected to be refined and applied in other watersheds throughout the Hawaiian Islands, the Pacific and across the US.