Mountain-to-Sea Resource Management

Ecological Economics and the Circular Economy December 8, 2023 By Kimberly Burnett, James Roumasset, and Christopher Wada The Circular Economy In 1969, Belgian industrial designers Paul Jorion and Jacques Braijt proposed the circular concept of manufacturing products from recycled materials as opposed to the “linear” concept of producing them from mined or harvested raw materials and discarding the corresponding waste (short history here). The… Read More
Sea level rise risk interactions with coastal property values: a case study of O‘ahu, Hawai‘i September 14, 2023 Abstract: Climate change-induced sea level rise (SLR) will affect a range of coastal assets and prompt difficult decisions about coastal land use across the world. Several recent studies find that current and projected SLR is associated with relatively lower property values. We contribute to this growing body of research with a case study of O‘ahu,… Read More
Linking climate, forests, and limu: Examining the influence of environmental change on groundwater dependent ecosystems in Kona July 26, 2023 By Leah Bremer, Brytne Okuhata, Jade Delevaux, Angela Richards Doná, Celia Smith, Veronica Gibson, Henrietta Dulai, Aly El Kadi, Kosta Stamoulis, Kimberly Burnett, Christopher Wada Summary: Climate change and increased groundwater pumping are likely to increase the habitat suitability of an invasive seaweed and decrease the abundance of a native and culturally important limu species… Read More
Effects of Multiple Drivers of Environmental Change on Native and Invasive Macroalgae in Nearshore Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems July 26, 2023 New UHERO Environment and collaborator publication in Water Resources Research demonstrates the connections between forest management, groundwater pumping, climate change and nearshore groundwater dependent ecosystems in Kona, Hawaiʻi. Abstract: Groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDE) are increasingly recognized as critical components of sustainable groundwater management, but are threatened by multiple drivers of environmental change. Despite this importance,… Read More
Managing retreat for sandy beach areas under sea level rise July 24, 2023 Abstract: Sea level rise (SLR) is projected to impact approximately one billion people by 2100. For many coastal communities, retreat is the most viable long-term option due to exposure risk under SLR and increased coastal hazards. Our research analyzes the costs of retreating coastal development at an iconic beach in Hawaiʻi that is experiencing severe… Read More
Risk to native marine macroalgae from land-use and climate change-related modification to groundwater discharge in Hawai’i December 17, 2021 Dr. Henrietta Dulai in collaboration with UHERO and the Department of Life Sciences, sheds light on the links between submarine groundwater discharge and the health of coastal ecosystems. See press on Hawaiʻi Public Radio and UH News. Access Publication Read More
Traditional and novel time-series approaches reveal submarine groundwater discharge dynamics under baseline and extreme event conditions November 19, 2021 UHERO's Peter Fuleky and his team conducted time-series data analysis and machine learning on a long-term, high resolution radon time-series from Kīholo Bay, Hawaiʻi to analyze the dependencies between rainfall, groundwater and ocean-water levels, coastal salinity, and submarine groundwater discharge. The analyses presented in this research are the first step in understanding what to expect… Read More
A density-dependent multi-species model to assess groundwater flow and nutrient transport in the coastal Keauhou aquifer, Hawai‘i, USA. October 8, 2021 Fresh groundwater is a critical resource supporting coastal ecosystems that rely on low-salinity, nutrient-rich groundwater discharge. This resource, however, is subject to contamination from point- and nonpoint-sources such as on-site sewage disposal systems (OSDS) and urban developments. Thus, the significance of flow and transport processes near the coastline due to density effects and water circulation… Read More
Identifying wastewater management tradeoffs: costs, nearshore water quality, and implications for marine coastal ecosystems in Kona, Hawai‘i September 8, 2021 Untreated and minimally treated wastewater discharged into the environment have the potential to adversely affect groundwater dependent ecosystems and nearshore marine health. Addressing this issue requires a systems approach that links land use and wastewater management decisions to potential impacts on the nearshore marine environment via changes in water quality and quantity. To that end,… Read More
Panorama Blog: Identifying wastewater management tradeoffs: costs, nearshore water quality, and implications for marine coastal ecosystems in Kona, Hawai’i September 8, 2021 By Christopher A. Wada, Kimberly M. Burnett , Brytne K. Okuhata, Jade M. S. Delevaux, Henrietta Dulai, Aly I. El-Kadi, Veronica Gibson, Celia Smith, Leah L. Bremer An interdisciplinary team from UHERO, the Water Resources Research Center, Dept. of Earth Sciences, and the Dept. of Botany recently published new scientific results in the journal PLOS… Read More
wetland Groundwater management for people and ecosystems under a changing climate: Insights from the Puʻuloa aquifer July 26, 2021 By Leah Bremer, Ahmed Elshall, Christopher Wada, Laura Brewington, Jade Delevaux, Aly El-Kadi, Clifford Voss, and Kimberly Burnett Summary:New research from the University of Hawaiʻi ʻIke Wai project indicates that current legal limits on withdrawals from the Puʻuloa (Pearl Harbor) aquifer, the primary water source for Oʻahu, are not sufficient to protect this important resource.… Read More
Effects of land cover and watershed protection futures on sustainable groundwater management in a heavily-utilized aquifer in Hawai‘i April 21, 2021 Groundwater sustainability initiatives, including sustainable yield and watershed policy protection policies, are growing globally in response to increasing demand for groundwater, coupled with concerns about the effects of climate and land-cover change on groundwater supply. Improved understanding of the impacts of watershed management on groundwater yields and management costs—particularly in the broader context of climate… Read More
Linking Land and Water Management to Culturally and Ecologically Important Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems March 4, 2021 Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (GDEs) are ecosystems which rely on groundwater. In Kona, Hawaiʻi coastal GDEs include: fish ponds (loko iʻa), anchialine pools, and nearshore ecosystems. Communities and agencies are working to restore and protect these ecosystems for their linked cultural and ecological values, and seek information on the interacting impacts of wastewater management, urban development,… Read More
Optimal multi-instrument management of interrelated resources and a groundwater dependent ecosystem September 1, 2020 We develop and operationalize an integrated groundwater and watershed management model using data from the Kīholo aquifer on the west coast of Hawai'i Island. Results from a numerical simulation suggest that investment in fencing (passive management) is preferred to invasive species removal (active management) if we are limited to selecting a single conservation tool. However,… Read More
Sumida farm Incorporating Historical Spring Discharge Protection into Sustainable Groundwater Management: A Case Study from Pearl Harbor Aquifer, Hawai‘i July 13, 2020 By Kimberly Burnett, Ahmed Elshall, Christopher Wada, Aida Arik, Aly El-Kadi, Clifford Voss, Jade Delevaux, and Leah Bremer The value of considering a range of diverse benefits is particularly salient in geographically isolated areas like the Hawaiian Islands, where judicious management of limited local freshwater resources is essential to sustaining the wellbeing of residents and… Read More