Derivation of Economic and Social Indicators for a Spatial Decision Support System to Evaluate the Impacts of Urban Development on Water Bodies in New Zealand

There is mounting evidence that urban development in New Zealand has contributed to poor water quality and ecological degradation of coastal and fresh water receiving waters. As a consequence, local governments have identified the need for improved methods to guide decision making to achieve improved outcomes for those receiving waters. This paper reports progress on a research programme to develop a catchmentscale spatial decision-support system (SDSS) that will aid evaluation of the impacts of urban development on attributes such as water and sediment quality; ecosystem health; and economic, social and cultural values. The SDSS aims to express indicators of impacts on these values within a sustainability indexing system in order to allow local governments to consider them holistically over planning timeframes of several decades. The SDSS will use a combination of deterministic and probabilistic methods to, firstly, estimate changes to environmental stressors such as contaminant loads from different land use and stormwater management scenarios and, secondly, use these results and information from a range of other sources to generate indicator values. This paper describes the project’s approach to the derivation of indicators of economic and social well being associated with the effects of urban storm water run-off on freshwater and estuarine receiving waters.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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