The main goal of the WRSIS project is to provide environmental benefits, particularly reductions in offsite release of nutrients and sediment, while at the same time improving crop yields. A plan for obtaining environmental, hydrologic, and hydraulic measurements along with crop yields has been implemented, but monitoring equipment installation and modification continues in order to improve data quantity and quality. These measurements are then stored and tabulated for use in optimizing the system’s design, management, and operation
The WRSIS environmental-hydrologic-hydraulic monitoring program is focused most intensively on the site in Defiance County where weather stations (Campbell Scientific, Inc. with CR10X datalogger and Spectrum Technologies, Inc. WatchDog Model 900ET), flumes (Plasti-Fab, Inc. Models H and HS), v-notch weirs, flow sensors (Isco, Inc. Model 750 Low-Profile Area-Velocity Probes, Isco, Inc. 720 Submerged Probes, Isco, Inc. 730 Bubbler Flow Modules and Scientific-Pittsburg/Panametrics Model XMT868 ultrasonic flowmeters), pressure transducers (Electronic Engineering Innovations Model 2.0/100 CM and Solinst Canada Ltd. Leveloggers and Baraolggers) and electrical capacitance monitoring loggers (Remote Data Systems Inc. Ecotone) for water level measurement, wetland/reservoir multi-level sampling masts, suction lysimeters (SOILMOISTURE Equipment Corp. Model 1900), and automatic water samplers (Isco, Inc. Model 6700) have been installed. The measurement program now in place at the Defiance County WRSIS site allows each component of the system to be monitored with regard to movement and storage of water, sediment, and nutrients in response to weather events and their corresponding wetland, reservoir, and cropland water management activities. A reduced level of monitoring occurs at the Fulton and Van Wert County locations, however, as a special consideration towards achieving the project’s overall goal, average crop yields along with weather measurement and the amount of water, sediment, and nutrients entering/leaving the wetland and released offsite are examined at all three WRSIS sites.
Implementation of the environmental-hydrologic-hydraulic monitoring program for WRSIS began in December of 1998 and continues today with new equipment installation and retrofitting of older equipment. The information collected is now being placed in a computer database. This database will over time provide a complete picture of overall system effectiveness along with guiding future design and management improvements, so that WRSIS can achieve its goal of protecting the environment, while at the same time increasing crop yields.