Uncertain monitoring and modeling in a watershed nonpoint pollution program

Chloe B. Wardropper, Sean Gillon, Adena R. Rissman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Performance-based programs governing land use rely on environmental measurement, prediction, and assessment. Yet complex, nonlinear social and environmental change can lead to uncertainties in quantification and forecasting and create challenges for operationalizing programs. This research examines the roles that environmental monitoring and modeling uncertainty play in experimental land and water governance through an analysis of a regulatory water quality program in Wisconsin, USA. The case demonstrates how uncertainties in measurement and prediction of pollution runoff shape program design and participant perceptions. We draw on interviews, a survey, participant observation, and policy document analysis to illustrate how regulators and participants (including municipalities, sewerage treatment plants, farmers and nonprofit organizations) perceive and react to uncertainty. Because current and future water quality data are based largely on model estimates, but regulatory compliance will likely be based on measured in-stream outcomes, participants must evaluate potential risks of involvement. Stakeholders have relied on partnership building and legal modifications such as extended compliance timelines to reduce the risks associated with uncertainty. Experimentation under uncertainty led to sustained stakeholder dialogue, and an iterative process of deciding how monitoring and modeling should be used to track and prove program progress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)690-701
Number of pages12
JournalLand Use Policy
Volume67
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

nonpoint source pollution
uncertainty
watershed
monitoring
pollution
modeling
compliance
stakeholder
water
stakeholders
water quality
nonprofit organization
environmental modeling
nonprofit corporations
policy analysis
social change
prediction
environmental monitoring
document analysis
data quality

Keywords

  • Adaptive governance
  • Experimental governance
  • Performance measurement
  • Regulation
  • Uncertainty
  • Water quality
  • Watershed collaboration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Uncertain monitoring and modeling in a watershed nonpoint pollution program. / Wardropper, Chloe B.; Gillon, Sean; Rissman, Adena R.

In: Land Use Policy, Vol. 67, 01.09.2017, p. 690-701.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wardropper, Chloe B. ; Gillon, Sean ; Rissman, Adena R. / Uncertain monitoring and modeling in a watershed nonpoint pollution program. In: Land Use Policy. 2017 ; Vol. 67. pp. 690-701.
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