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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Conservation Effects Assessment Project Croplands Watersheds Studies - Gulf Coast & Western Watersheds (2012)

Location: Great Plains Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research Unit

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Problems to be addressed through this agreement include the following four areas: 1. Improving our understanding of the aggregate effects of conservation practices at the watershed scale; 2. Improving our ability to select and place conservation practices on the landscape for maximum effectiveness; 3. Improving conservation practices to better protect water resources; and 4. Maintaining the effectiveness of conservation practices under changing climate and land use.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Improving our understanding of the aggregate effects of conservation practices at the watershed scale: 1) Develop models/decision support tools to evaluate the effectiveness of BMP's at the watershed scale. 2) Enhance the landscape version of SWAT to better represent field-to-basin scale processes. Improving our ability to select and place conservation practices on the landscape for maximum effectiveness: 1) Develop mapping techniques for placing specific practices within watersheds based on terrain and soils data. 2) Assess and compare the trade-offs of no-till adoption, and support the development of nutrient management recommendations for water quality protection, at the watershed scale. Improving conservation practices to better protect water resources: 1) Watershed scale assessment of combined conservation practices. Maintaining the effectiveness of conservation practices under changing climate and land use: 1) Use reservoir sedimentation, land use change, and climate information to anticipate future reservoir sedimentation and needs for additional conservation under changing climate.


3.Progress Report:

Funding from this agreement was used to support water quality sampling, develop data for STEWARDS, collect and analyze data on reservoir sediments and riparian areas, and support terrain and land use change analysis. Improved tile drainage subroutines were developed for SWAT and evaluated at tile drained watersheds in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. A framework was developed for linkage of SWAT to MODFLOW to provide better tools for analysis of interactive surface-subsurface hydrologic processes.


Last Modified: 8/31/2014
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