Uitdaging

Water ligt aan de basis van alle diensten die ecosystemen leveren, en met name kijkend naar landbouwproductie. De beschikbaarheid van water, zowel qua kwantiteit als kwaliteit, wordt sterk beïnvloed door het functioneren van ecosystemen en daarom is het van cruciaal belang om de samenhang van water en ecosystemen en hun landbouwgerelateerde diensten te begrijpen.
Verschillende belangrijke ecosysteemdiensten zijn expliciet gekoppeld aan de waterkringloop; van het leveren van schoon drinkwater tot het reguleren van overstromingen en het creëren van kansen voor recreatie en culturele activiteiten op het water. Ecosysteemdiensten worden tegenwoordig vaak meegenomen in het watermanagement; met inbegrip van klimaatverandering, stroomgebiedbeheer en geïntegreerd waterbeheer
Het is een uitdaging om ecosysteemdiensten te beoordelen en te waarderen binnen het waterbeheer. Voor het maken van beleid en het prioriteren van investeringen is het noodzakelijk om de voordelen van het behoud en herstel van ecosystemendiensten te beoordelen. Deze voordelen moeten per ecosysteemdienst en per ruimtelijke schaal zowel in biofysische als in economische termen worden gekwantificeerd.

FutureWater-aanpak

De FutureWater-benadering om de watergerelateerde ecosysteemdiensten te waarderen bestaat uit uitgebreide scenariobeoordeling met behulp van simulatiemodellen, analyse en visualisatie. Aangepast landgebruik wordt individueel beoordeeld in relatie tot investeringsportefeuilles. Effecten worden vervolgens beoordeeld op hydrologisch en waterbeschikbaarheidsniveau, en ten slotte op financieel en / of economisch rendement.
Meer specifiek wordt scenario-analyse uitgevoerd door verschillende tools te combineren, namelijk:

  1. Hydrologische modellen;
  2. Satellietgegevens (Remote Sensing), om indicatoren van achteruitgang te identificeren en om de potentie van het ecosysteem te bepalen, en
  3. Return-on-investment analyses. De output van de biofysische beoordeling wordt rechtstreeks in de economische waardering meegenomen.

FutureWater ondersteunt op deze manier plannen voor investeringen in verbeterd stroomgebiedbeheer, b.v. door bosbouw- en landbouwpraktijken te verbeteren, wat de benedenstroomse watergebruikers ten goede komt. Deze plannen worden vervolgens gebruikt om een financieel duurzaam systeem op te zetten binnen het stroomgebied om zo gezondere ecosystemen en duurzaam stroomgebiedbeheer mogelijk te maken.

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