The land use suitability concept: Introduction and an application of the concept to inform sustainable productivity within environmental constraints
McDowell, Richard; Snelder, T.; Harris, S.; Lilburne, L.; Larned, S. T.; Scarsbrook, M.; Curtis, A.; Holgate, B.; Phillips, J.; Taylor, K.
The Land Use Suitability (LUS) concept informs decision-making by providing stakeholders with integrated information about the economic, environmental, social and cultural consequences of land use choices. This paper addresses an application of the LUS concept: evaluating the suitability of land for sustained productivity subject to environmental constraints, as defined by water quality objectives. We refer to this application of the LUS concept as ‘Productivity within Environmental Constraints’ (PEC). A PEC assessment uses three indicators to evaluate land-water systems: 1) productive potential, describing the inherent productive and economic potential of land parcels; 2) relative contribution, describing the potential for a land parcel to contribute contaminants (relative to other land parcels) to downstream receiving environments; and 3) pressure, describing the contaminant load delivered to a receiving environment compared to the load that ensures that environmental objectives are met. The three indicators can be expressed categorically, mapped at catchment to national scales, and used to support strategic land assessments and plan land development and investment.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordscontaminant loads; critical point; environmental objectives; land and water management; land use; productive potential; pressure; relative contribution; Ecology
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