Evaluation of cost-effectiveness of conservation buffer placement strategies in a river basin

Zeyuan Qiu, Christine Hall, Kathy Hale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Conservation buffer is a best management practice for repairing impaired streams and restoring ecosystem functions in degraded watersheds. This paper compares the cost-effectiveness of three conservation buffer placement strategies in the Raritan Basin in New Jersey. Three strategies are the fixed-width riparian buffer restoration strategy based on state and local regulatory rules, the variable-width riparian buffer restoration strategy based on a nonregulatory watershed protection initiative and the variable source area-based conservation buffer placement strategy derived from an alternative concept of watershed hydrology. The variable source area-based conservation buffer placement strategy targets the most hydrologically critical source areas in a watershed for buffer placement. A digital elevation model, land use, soil, and stream data are used to identify critical source areas for buffer placement. The results show there are only minor differences in the cost-effectiveness of the fixed- and variable-width riparian buffer restoration strategies and that variable source area-based buffer placement strategy is more cost effective than the fixed- and variable-width riparian buffer restoration strategies. The critical source areas for placing conservation buffers are useful information for local watershed management, soil and water conservation, and land use planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-302
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Soil and Water Conservation
Volume64
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Keywords

  • Conservation buffer
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Critical source area
  • Geographic information system
  • Hydrologically sensitive area
  • Topographic index
  • Variable area source hydrology

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