IGN 11-7
Future directions of usable science for sustainable rangeland water resources

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
345, Baltimore Convention Center
James P. Dobrowolski, Water, Rangeland and Grassland Ecosystems, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Washington, DC
David M. Engle, Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
Water impinges on other ecosystem components and processes, and vice-versa.  It is sensitive to socioeconomic factors that alter land use at multiple scales. These issues provide rich research opportunities to produce usable science. Highly-ranked research priorities included proactive tools for predicting drought, better water data by establishing stream measurements in watersheds that cross political boundaries, proactive watershed management crossing ecological and social systems, and policy development minimizing restoration and maximizing prevention.  Workshop participants exhorted the need to return abandoned cropland to rangeland, driven by aquifer depletion, drought, and climate change. Economic evaluation is usable science required to support these challenges.