Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure


The full text article is not available for purchase.

The publisher only permits individual articles to be downloaded by subscribers.

The GLB is an important but degraded natural resource. To protect this resource while still allowing for new/increased water withdrawals, the Great Lakes States Governors and Premiers signed the Great Lakes Charter Annex of 2001 establishing a new resource-based decision standard.1 This research relates to implementation of the resource improvement standard under provisions of the Annex. The research was initiated by identifying the five most common types of hydrologic-ecological systems in the GLB that were potentially vulnerable to withdrawals as well as amenable to improvement actions. These five systems included:

Coastal wetlands

Open lake

Tributaries and rivers



Groundwater systems were also important, however they were primarily accounted for through their influence on surface waters. With improvements to these systems in mind, this paper reports on research related to how the ecological currency approach is being used to quantify resource improvement, using five hypothetical new water withdrawal/resource improvement scenarios. One tool in this approach is the Habitat Equivalency Analysis (HEA) method, which uses a mathematical model and ecological metrics or “currencies” to calculate the changes in valued ecological functions and services due to the proposed action. An important aspect of this research involved developing the appropriate ecological currencies to measure the changes in functionality of the habitats that would, in turn, affect the ecological services that could be provided by those habitats. These ecological currencies are then used to quantify the gains and losses in valued ecological services due to the proposed withdrawals and the hydrologicecological restoration and enhancement actions, to help make a determination that will produce a net gain.

Investigations through the use of new GLB withdrawal and resource improvement scenarios revealed that the resource improvements from a wide range in withdrawals can be adequately assessed primarily using the following 4 metrics:

Loading of pollutants that degrade water quality

Integrated numerical index of stream habitat functionality

Measure of similarity to the natural, predevelopment flow regime

Integrated numerical index of wetland habitat functionality

It was concluded that resource improvements can be demonstrated in many ways ranging from qualitative descriptions to the use of formal quantitative models. Quantification may not be necessary, but it may add value for the applicant, the reviewers and other stakeholders. Quantification leads to greater predictability in decisions, optimizes and finds least cost solutions, and provides a consistent, systematic, and defensible process.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2004

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation includes access to most papers presented at the annual WEF Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) and other conferences held since 2000. Subscription access begins 12 months after the event and is valid for 12 months from month of purchase. A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is included in Water Environment Federation (WEF) membership.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access. Access begins 12 months after the conference or event
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Learn about the many other WEF member benefits and join today
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more