Vegetation Removal for Achieving Diverse Water Management Goals

James Farlin

Abstract: Water managers who create allocation plans are under immense pressure to support both ecological and human services under a changing political and physical climate. In the dynamic world, water plans must be effective and efficient. Understanding the systems from an ecohydrologic framework can provide insight into feedbacks between ecological and hydrologic processes. Two case studies of intensive invasive vegetation removal have confirmed that in arid systems significant water savings can be achieved. By restoring heavily invaded riparian areas water managers can create better habitats for aquatic and terrestrial biota while simultaneously increasing the quantity of surface and groundwater supplies. Additional costs of implementing programs would be minimal, as habitat restoration efforts are shifted to riparian areas for endangered plant species.