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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

Source water protection programs, historically focused on water quality concerns, are increasingly looking to land stewardship to address risks of too little or too much water. Specifically, they are often looking to maintain or improve baseflows, improve groundwater recharge, and reduce flood risk. In many cases, these programs are responding to observed or anticipated hydrologic shifts resulting from climate change and land degradation. The extent to which source water protection activities like protection, restoration, and best management practices can produce meaningful impacts on water quantity and consequently build resiliency is, however, relatively unexplored, and the significance of existing empirical evidence has rarely been translated into formats that are accessible and useful to practitioners. The driving question that our proposed working group will address is: to what extent, and under what circumstances, can source water protection activities be expected to produce meaningful baseflow, groundwater recharge, and flood impacts, both under current and future climate conditions? The proposed work is distinguished by a focus on ‘meaningful impacts’ from the perspective of different beneficiary groups: downstream (typically urban) communities and major water users, upstream (typically rural) communities, and native aquatic ecosystems and communities. We will produce outputs targeted at decision makers and funders who are critical drivers of source water protection programs, and at on-the-ground practitioners who are charged with designing and implementing such programs. By bringing together world-class scientists and highly regarded beneficiary experts, we will bridge technical knowledge and practical application to produce outputs aimed at helping source water protection programs set informed water quantity objectives and in doing so develop more effective programs and ultimately achieve greater success.

The information here may be out of date, please refer to for more current information.

Working Group Participants

Principal Investigator(s)

Kari Vigerstol, Robin Abell, Adrian Vogl

Project Dates

Start: January 1, 2018

End: December 31, 2020



Robin Abell
Conservation International
Craig Beatty
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Maija Bertule
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
Kate Brauman
University of Minnesota
Wouter Buytaert
Imperial College, London
Jan Cassin
Forest Trends
Katharine Cross
International Water Association Bangkok Office
Bert de Bievre
Fondo para la protección del Agua (FONAG)
James Dennedy-Frank
Stanford University
Daniela Giardina
Lissa Glasgo
Global Impact Investing Network
Thomas P Gleeson
University of Victoria
Ted Grantham
University of California, Berkeley
Paul Hicks
Catholic Relief Services, Coffeelands
Astrid Hillers
Global Environment Facility
Kris Johnson
The Nature Conservancy
Stan Kang
The Nature Conservancy
Carrie V. Kappel
University of California, Santa Barbara
John Matthews
Alliance for Global Water Adaptation
Nate Matthews
Global Resilience Partnership
Neil McIntyre
University of Queensland
Robin Miller
Jason Morrison
Pacific Institute
Raul Muñoz
Inter-American Development Bank
Jeanne Nel
Nelson Mandela University
Virginia Newton-Lewis
Suzanne Ozment
World Resources Institute
Diego Rodriguez
World Bank
Elaine Springgay
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Robert Stallard
US Geological Survey (USGS)
Rebecca E. Tharme
Albert van Dijk
Australian National University
Kari Vigerstol
The Nature Conservancy
Adrian Vogl
Stanford University
Louise Whiting
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)
Robert Wilby
David Wilk
Inter-American Development Bank
Nick Wobbrock
Blue Forest Conservation

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