Science Inventory

ROLE OF WATERSHED SUBDIVISION ON MODELING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES WITH SWAT

Citation:

Arabi, M., R. S. Govindaraju, M. M. HANTUSH, AND B. A. Engel. ROLE OF WATERSHED SUBDIVISION ON MODELING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES WITH SWAT. K. J. Lanfear (ed.), JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN WATER RESOURCES ASSOCIATION. American Water Resources Association, Middleburg, VA, 42(2):513-528, (2006).

Impact/Purpose:

The objectives of this study are to show that spatial resolution effects resulting from watershed subdivision have a strong influence on model-based evaluation of long term impacts of BMPs on fate and transport of sediments and nutrients within watersheds; to suggest a methodology for identifying an appropriate spatial scale for evaluating BMPs; and to examine, using this appropriate level of subdivision, the efficacy of different BMPs at field and watershed scales.

Description:

Distributed parameter watershed models are often used for evaluating the effectiveness of various best management practices (BMPs). Streamflow, sediment, and nutrient yield predictions of a watershed model can be affected by spatial resolution as dictated by watershed subdivision. The objectives of this paper are to show that evaluation of BMPs using a model is strongly linked to the level of watershed subdivision; to suggest a methodology for identifying an appropriate subdivision level; and to examine the efficacy of different BMPs at field and watershed scales. In this study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was calibrated and validated for streamflow, sediment, and nutrient yields at the outlet of the Dreisbach (623 ha) and Smith Fry (730 ha) watersheds in Maumee River Basin, Indiana. Grassed waterways, grade stabilization structures, field borders, and parallel terraces are the BMPs that were installed in the study area in the 1970s. Sediment and nutrient outputs from the calibrated model were compared at various watershed subdivision levels, both with and without implementation of these BMPs. Results for the study watersheds indicated that evaluation of the impacts of these BMPs on sediment and nutrient yields was very sensitive to the level of subdivision that was implemented in SWAT. An optimal watershed subdivision level for representation of the BMPs was identified through numerical simulations. For the study watersheds, it would appear that the average subwatershed area corresponding to approximately 4 percent of total watershed area is needed to represent the influence of thes BMPs when using the SWAT model.

URLs/Downloads:

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 04/03/2006
Record Last Revised: 10/06/2009
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 214580

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

LAND REMEDIATION AND POLLUTION CONTROL DIVISION

ENVIRONMENTAL STRESSORS MANAGEMENT BRANCH