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Thank you to everyone who attended the 11th Annual Salt Lake County Watershed Symposium! This free two-day conference encourages a comprehensive review of the current state of our watershed while creating learning opportunities for a diverse array of stakeholders. Sessions covered a broad range of topics on water quality and watershed issues with local, regional, and national relevance. Hosted by Salt Lake County Watershed Planning & Restoration.

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"The Symposium is tremendously important to the future of all of Utah. You guys are educating stakeholders across Northern Utah in an objective, user-friendly way about issues, problems and concerns that are not being discussed publicly anywhere else."  -Zach Frankel, Utah Rivers Council


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Thursday, November 16 • 1:50pm - 2:20pm
Calling All Collaborators: Robust Decision-Making & Climate Adaptation

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Calling All Collaborators: Robust Decision-Making & Climate Adaptation

Summary:
Climate change and conventional stormwater management alters hydrology and water quality and creates uncertainty of water supply. USU researchers are developing a robust decision-making framework to use with stakeholders to identify strategies that reach stormwater management and harvesting goals under various environmental conditions.

Full Abstract:
Conventional stormwater management is centered on gray stormwater infrastructure (i.e., gutters and storm drain systems) that directs stormwater runoff to surface water. This infrastructure has led to changes in hydrology and water quality, such as reduced infiltration to groundwater and contaminated runoff. Additionally, climate change creates uncertainty of environmental conditions and consequently water supply for humans and ecosystems. Salt Lake Valley, and other snow-dominated regions, depend on snowpack for storage and supply. These regions are at risk due to reduced snowpack reliability, with climate warming causing more rain on snow events and changes in runoff timing, resulting in unreliable snowpack storage and stormwater run off leaving the area before it can be used. Our research team is interested in the potential of green stormwater infrastructure (i.e., bioswales, vegetated infiltration areas, rain gardens, subsurface storage and infiltration systems, and green roofs) to alleviate the impacts of gray stormwater infrastructure and climate change to facilitate stormwater harvesting in the Salt Lake Valley. One part of this project is to develop a robust decision-making framework to support sustainable stormwater decision-making and policy with uncertainty from climate change conditions. Robust decision-making frameworks are an iterative process where stakeholders are included at the initiation of the process. The process generally begins with stakeholders and researchers identifying potential policy and management strategies, uncertainties, risks, and goals. This is then followed by estimating the performance of the potential strategies across the uncertainties identified in the first step. The third step involves finding the conditions under which the potential strategies are vulnerable. Then, the performance of the potential strategies are compared. This process can continue until robust strategies that reach goals chosen by stakeholders and under various environmental conditions are identified. The framework for this project is still in the initial stages. The objective of this presentation is to outline the steps for a robust decision-making framework in the context of Salt Lake Valley and stormwater harvesting, as well as obtain feedback from stakeholders in the Salt Lake area.

Speakers
avatar for Liana Prudencio

Liana Prudencio

Graduate Researcher and PhD Student, Utah State University
Liana is a graduate researcher and PhD student at Utah State University in the Department of Watershed Sciences. She also has a BS in Journalism & Mass Communication from Iowa State University and an MS in Sociology from the University of Utah. Her research interests largely focu... Read More →



Attendees (11)