Monitoring changes in hydrologic response due to land management changes at the watershed scale: Time lag and other issues
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Abstract: Global expenditures on watershed management activities to improve watershed services are estimated to exceed three to five billion US dollars per year. The needs, locations, costs and effectiveness of conservation and restoration activities are constantly debated and there is little scientific consensus on the effectiveness of payments for watershed services projects in achieving measurable improvements in watershed services. An element frequently missing from this discussion is a realistic estimation of whether desired outcomes will be obtained and the time required before desired outcomes are attained. While conservation or restoration actions are well-intended, expectations about timing of outcomes and effectiveness of such actions are often unrealistically short. This presentation identifies timeframes over which conservation and restoration outcomes in watersheds dominated by agricultural activities are likely to be realized and explores landscape, ecological, and social factors that may influence their success.