Sustainable Decision-Making to Address the Nexus on Water Quality and Food Production.
Information needs and response options for watershed protection and restoration incorporates integrated stormwater management so as to improve the environmental footprint of cities by controlling pollutants. The challenge of protecting and restoring our nation’s water resources is exacerbated by climate variability and change which further complicates efforts to protect and enhance water quality. Projected changes in temperature and rainfall patterns may diminish water quality by impacting stream flow, thus altering the concentration and mobility of nutrients and sediments into surface waters. To make informed decisions about stormwater runoff control, policy-makers will need timely and useful information about the possible consequences, associated risks, and available policy options. For policy makers at the local level, the implementation of ordinances offers integrated water pollution strategies aimed at minimizing stormwater runoff and improving the quality of surface waters. This study utilized a multimode survey approach assess the knowledge, perceptions and adherence of a stratified sample of residents in the Chesapeake and Virginia Beach areas to local fertilizer ordinances, and their willingness to support proposed environmental regulations that seek to address the declining water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. The survey instrument was employed to collect data on the extent of fertilizer use, irrigation and fertilizer practices, awareness of local fertilizer ordinances, decision-making influences with respect to fertilizer application, and motivators for residential maintenance decisions. Response options should be modified to include investments in research to reduce key policy-relevant uncertainties, and measures to adapt to a changing climate in order to increase society’s resilience to climate change. As a result, research of this nature will help policy makers and practitioners make well-informed decisions regarding watershed protection and restoration thus limiting current and future vulnerabilities.
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