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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
  • Thomas Neeson
  • (405) 875-4607
  • Joshuah S Perkin
  • Dana M Bauer
  • Adam Feltz
  • Shima Mohebbi
Award Date:07/21/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 1,596,980
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 1,596,980
  • FY 2021=$1,596,980
Start Date:01/15/2022
End Date:12/31/2026
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.050
Primary Program Source:040100 R&RA ARP Act DEFC V
Award Title or Description:DISES: Conservation incentives and the socio-spatial dynamics of water sustainability
Federal Award ID Number:2108003
DUNS ID:848348348
Parent DUNS ID:046862181
Program Officer:
  • Christopher Schneider
  • (703) 292-7920

Awardee Location

Street:201 Stephenson Parkway
Awardee Cong. District:04

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Dept. of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, University
Street:100 East Boyd
Cong. District:04

Abstract at Time of Award

This award is funded in whole or in part under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Public Law 117-2). Disputes over water resources are common worldwide. In response, societies make massive investments in water conservation and allocation to support human water security and freshwater ecosystem services. There is a growing interest in voluntary incentives (e.g., payments/subsidies offered to water users) as a strategy for reducing conflicts in and beyond water conservation. Incentive-based programs hold promise, but uncertainties remain regarding how state and non-state environmental organizations may implement them effectively and efficiently. Effective implementation of incentive-based conservation requires strategic allocation of financial incentives across space and time. This project will investigate how interactions among social, hydrological, and biological spatial dynamics affect the sustainability of human-freshwater systems under incentive-based conservation. These dynamics shape the viability and effectiveness of incentive-based water conservation programs in river basins around the world. The focus of this project is on water systems in areas with extensive agricultural use, but the findings will be relevant for understanding the dynamics of incentive-based conservation programs for many types of resources (e.g., marine fisheries, energy, waste, forestry). Thus, results have the potential to transform understanding of the ways in which conservation incentives might enhance the sustainability of a wide range of integrated human-natural systems. The project focuses on the Red River, the second-largest basin in the south-central United States. Information on conservation actors and water users will be gathered via interviews and surveys to populate utility-theoretic behavioral models of decision-making regarding willingness to offer/accept conservation incentives. Game theoretic models of strategic social interactions will extend the behavioral models by examining water users’ likelihood of cooperative or competitive behavior. Retrospective, empirically-based modeling of relationships among groundwater, stream flows, and freshwater ecosystems will predict ecosystem service outcomes under varying climate and water use scenarios. Combined results from these models will be used to parameterize and calibrate an integrative socio-environmental simulation. The simulation will model the entire integrated system, from the design of conservation incentives, through decisions made by water users and water resource managers, to the linked surface and groundwater system and subsequent ecosystem service outcomes which influence human conservation decisions. Dynamic system scenarios based on varying conservation incentive budgets, priorities and climatic uncertainties will be simulated over 20-year time horizons. This integrated modeling will be used to develop the central project outputs: an adaptable, integrated framework that can be used to navigate sustainability dilemmas typical of water-limited river basins worldwide, leading to a set of key insights for understanding and managing these systems. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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