Recreational ecosystem service benefits from the Chestermere Lake Reservoir : value for day use non-resident visitors

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Bewer, Robert
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Geography, c2012
Irrigation infrastructure provides many ecosystem service (ES) benefits that enhance the well-being of Albertans and is central to economic activity in southern Alberta. Management of irrigation infrastructure and water resources is becoming increasingly challenging as Alberta’s population and economy grows. Past water allocation decisions have not generally considered the need of ecosystems leading to declining ecosystem health, and changes to provision of ES benefits in Alberta. The goals of current Alberta government policy include changing how water and land is managed to ensure that ecosystem health and ES provision is maintained. The research in this thesis concentrates on establishing the value of recreational ES benefits provided by the Chestermere Lake Reservoir, and obtaining information on the spatial aspects and visitor characteristics. A mixed method approach is used combining a qualitative discussion with a quantitative analysis using a geographic information system (GIS) and the travel cost method (TCM). The selection of the mixed method and combined GIS-TCM approach was based on past success in previous studies. The findings reveal a substantial value for recreational ES benefits provided by the Chestermere Lake Reservoir occurring within a limited area similar to other studies of recreational benefits from reservoirs. The findings of this research provide information for decisions makers, water infrastructure managers, and water transfer participants when assessing the impact of planned actions. Further research is recommended to build upon the findings of this study and further expand the available information on ES benefits to include all ES provided by southern Alberta.
x, 125 leaves : col. ill. ; 29 cm
Ecosystem services -- Alberta , Ecosystem management -- Alberta , Recreation -- Alberta , Irrigation -- Alberta -- Management , Water -- Management -- Alberta , Chestermere Lake Region (Alta.) , Dissertations, Academic