Project Title: Estimating the Benefits of Stream Water Quality Improvements in Urbanizing Watersheds: An Ecological Production Function Approach
Co-PI Kenney, along with other PIs and Senior Personnel, will collaborate on all aspects of the project – focus groups, expert elicitation, stated preference surveys, water quality modeling, and water quality benefit indicators. Our team will lead the expert elicitation and indicators research in collaboration with the other investigators. Specifically, we will collaborate on the focus groups to link what attributes of wadable urban streams people care about to observable, measureable water quality variables (Years 1-2). These focus groups will ensure attributes, both use and non-use water quality benefits, people care about will inform later steps of the project. University of Maryland researchers will conduct an elicitation of water quality experts. The purpose of this project stage is to link observable, measurable water quality metrics to the use and non-use benefits that correlate well with lay people’s perceptions of water quality (Years 1-2). Years 1-3 the water quality modeling will be developed first given the available data for wadable urban streams and later given the additional expert elicitation data to develop statistical and/or semi-mechanistic models that will provide a clear linkage from the water quality data to the user-defined water quality benefits. Years 2-3 will develop and implement the stated preference survey One of these is a survey instrument that will be sent to area stakeholders that is designed to measure use and non-use values of wadable streams. The water quality modeling case study will predict baseline and policy- improved water conditions, and the University of Maryland researchers will develop approaches to translate the results into water quality benefit indicators that are meaningful to and understood by the user communities.