Sustainable Land Use and Watershed Management in Response to Climate Change Impacts: Overview and Proposed Research Techniques

Sustainable Land Use and Watershed Management in Response to Climate Change Impacts: Overview and Proposed Research Techniques

Nguyen Kim Loi (Nong Lam University, Vietnam)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2038-4.ch124
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Abstract

With the changes in climatic, biophysical, socio-cultural, economic, and technological components, paradigm shifts in natural resources management are unavoidably and have to be adapted/modified to harmonize with the global changes and the local communities’ needs. This chapter focuses on sustainable land use and watershed management in response to climate change impacts. The first part covers some definitions and background on sustainable land use, watershed management approach, and sustainable watershed management. The second part describes the use of the Geographic Information System (GIS) and Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) model focusing on the framework for a planning and decision making, computer-based system for supporting spatial decisions. The mathematical programming has been reviewed focusing on optimization algorithms that include optimization modeling and simulation modeling for decision making. Finally, the example of methodology development for sustainable land use and watershed management in response to climate change in Dong Nai watershed, Vietnam is presented.
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2. Definition And Background Of Watershed Management Approach

If one asks why we need to manage natural resources based on watershed boundary, the answer would be to recognize that sustained land or resource based development depends on the interaction of all the activities that take place in the watershed. Uplands and lowlands are physically linked in a watershed via the hydrologic cycle. Upstream activities affect downstream opportunities and problems by influencing the flow of water, sediments and other waterborne materials through the system. For recognizing this fact, one has to merely look at the numerous examples where poor upstream land use practices result in disaster downstream. Upland erosion not only leads to long-term losses of upland productivity, but also loss of storage capacity in reservoirs which in turn leads to loss of hydropower production, increased flooding, or loss of irrigation capacity downstream. Soil loss brings adverse downstream impacts even when reservoirs are not present. More frequent over bank flows and flood damages will likely result. In addition, lack of adequate water to dilute wastes and general water quality deterioration from uplands results in more serious pollution, including public health problems.

It is essential for the success of watershed management that, there is a clear understanding of some of its basic underlying concepts. The below section endeavors to define key terms and principles that are relevant to watershed management.

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