A coupled model approach to reduce nonpoint-source pollution resulting from predicted urban growth

A case study in the Ambos Nogales watershed

Laura M. Norman, Phillip Guertin, Mark Feller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The development of new approaches for understanding processes of urban development and their environmental effects, as well as strategies for sustainable management, is essential in expanding metropolitan areas. This study illustrates the potential of linking urban growth and watershed models to identify problem areas and support long-term watershed planning. Sediment is a primary source of nonpoint-source pollution in surface waters. In urban areas, sediment is intermingled with other surface debris in transport. In an effort to forecast the effects of development on surface-water quality, changes predicted in urban areas by the SLEUTH urban growth model were applied in the context of erosion-sedimentation models (Universal Soil Loss Equation and Spatially Explicit Delivery Models). The models are used to simulate the effect of excluding hot-spot areas of erosion and sedimentation from future urban growth and to predict the impacts of alternative erosion-control scenarios. Ambos Nogales, meaning "both Nogaleses," is a name commonly used for the twin border cities of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. The Ambos Nogales watershed has experienced a decrease in water quality as a result of urban development in the twin-city area. Population growth rates in Ambos Nogales are high and the resources set in place to accommodate the rapid population influx will soon become overburdened. Because of its remote location and binational governance, monitoring and planning across the border is compromised. One scenario described in this research portrays an improvement in water quality through the identification of high-risk areas using models that simulate their protection from development and replanting with native grasses, while permitting the predicted and inevitable growth elsewhere. This is meant to add to the body of knowledge about forecasting the impact potential of urbanization on sediment delivery to streams for sustainable development, which can be accomplished in a virtual environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-516
Number of pages21
JournalUrban Geography
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008

Fingerprint

nonpoint source pollution
urban growth
watershed
erosion
water
water quality
urban development
urban area
sedimentation
sediment
scenario
surface water
Universal Soil Loss Equation
planning
erosion control
environmental effect
population growth
metropolitan area
urbanization
hot spot

Keywords

  • Alternative scenarios
  • Urban growth
  • Watershed modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies

Cite this

A coupled model approach to reduce nonpoint-source pollution resulting from predicted urban growth : A case study in the Ambos Nogales watershed. / Norman, Laura M.; Guertin, Phillip; Feller, Mark.

In: Urban Geography, Vol. 29, No. 5, 01.07.2008, p. 496-516.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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