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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF A GIS-BASED RISK ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR TARGETING CONSERVATION PRACTICES TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Project Number: 3622-12130-004-03
Project Type: Reimbursable

Start Date: Sep 15, 2006
End Date: Aug 14, 2010

Objective:
Objectives for Year 2 – Risk Assessment Project 1. Apply the risk assessment model to Goodwater Creek Experimental Watershed (GCEW) and possibly apply the model to other nearby watersheds. 2. Calibrate and validate APEX for selected field simulations. 3. Select BMP scenarios based on the results of the risk assessment model. 4. Run APEX simulations under baseline conditions and with different BMP scenarios.

Approach:
A risk assessment index model, developed at the University of Nebraska, will be used to identify vulnerable areas that disproportionately contribute to contaminant loading in Goodwater Creek watershed (GWC). If vulnerable areas can be discerned, then specific fields will be identified, and the Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX) model will be used to study the impact of implementing various BMPs at the field-scale. Field-scale model evaluations will include comparison of existing land management to that of BMPs for a targeted field (high risk of contaminant transport) and for a non-targeted field (low risk of contaminant transport). This assessment will provide an indication of the relative water quality benefits (e.g., percent reduction in contaminant load) gained by targeted BMP implementation. The type of BMP will be tailored to the specific risk or risks being considered. An additional model evaluation will be conducted at the watershed scale using the SWAT model. SWAT is a process model that incorporates methodology to integrate field-scale BMPs within a watershed and evaluate the benefits that can be expected from their implementation at a coarse scale and over long time periods.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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