Selecting socio-economic metrics for watershed management

Environ Monit Assess. 2005 Apr;103(1-3):83-98. doi: 10.1007/s10661-005-6855-z.


The selection of social and economic metrics to document baseline conditions and analyze the dynamic relationships between ecosystems and human communities are important decisions for scientists, managers, and watershed citizens. A large variety of social and economic data is available but these have limited use without theoretical frameworks. In this paper, several frameworks for reviewing social-ecosystem relations are offered, namely social sanctions, sense of place, civic structure, and cultural differences. Underlying all of these frameworks are attitudes, beliefs, values, and norms that affect which questions are asked and which indicators are chosen. Much work and significant challenges remain in developing a standard set of spatially based socio-economic metrics for watershed management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Community Participation
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Ecosystem*
  • Environmental Monitoring* / economics
  • Rivers*
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • United States
  • Water Supply / economics