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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Right Practice, Right Place: Development and Deployment of a Conservation Planning Toolkit and Improved Incentive Strategies…
2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Develop a set of practice-specific conservation planning tools for application at the HUC-12 scale.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Tasks will include: Developing an approach to represent hydrologic flows through processing and terrain analysis of LiDAR data; Selecting test watersheds and identifying priority water quality concerns and conservation practices to address those concerns; Determining parameters and criteria for targeting individual practices in watersheds; Developing maps and mapping tools for each identified practice; Technology transfer of results through interaction with stakeholders to obtain feedback, evaluate and refine methods; Modeling of practice effects on water quality using simple models and published research results; and writing and publication of technology transfer materials and refereed journal publications.


3.Progress Report:

Substantial progress was made to develop analyses and software routines that identify locations suitable for installation of a variety of conservation practices to reduce nutrient losses from watersheds, including nutrient removal wetlands, drainage water management, and a variety of runoff control practices. These approaches have been combined into a generic planning framework that, when applied, could provide local watershed planners and stakeholders a variety of options for water quality improvement. The framework includes procedures to help planners prioritize fields for runoff control practices and map specific opportunities for water quality improvement throughout a watershed’s network of riparian corridors. This framework has been presented at three conferences, and it is being trialed through a watershed demonstration project funded by Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and an evaluation to compare and evaluate application of the framework in six Midwest watersheds.


Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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