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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Development and Application of the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment Tool 1585

Authors
item Hernandez, Mariano - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Semmens, Darius - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Miller, Scott - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Goodrich, David
item Kepner, William - US EPA

Submitted to: Proceedings of ARS/INIFAP Binational Symposium on Modeling and Remote Sensing in Agriculture
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2005
Publication Date: April 10, 2006
Citation: Hernandez, M., Semmens, D., Miller, S., Goodrich, D.C., Kepner, W. 2006. Development and application of the automated geospatial watershed assessment tool. Chapter 9 In: Modeling and Remote Sensing Applied to Agriculture (U.S. and Mexico). Eds. C.W. Richardson, A.S. Baez-Gonzalez, and M.Tiscareno-Lopez, USDA-INIFAP Publ: Aguascalientes, Mexico. p. 127-158.

Interpretive Summary: Most management decisions concerning the environment affect and are affected by the landscape. Therefore, understanding and modeling the spatial patterns of landscape processes and changes over time at several different scales is critical to effective environmental management. The advent of remotely sensed and other forms of geospatial data has facilitated the study of large 'scale, complex processes. The need to assimilate this wealth of information when making decisions is increasing the demand for integrated computer-based tools capable of storing, manipulating and analyzing environmental data. A hydrologic modeling toolkit called Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) tool has been developed for use in watershed analysis. This tool has been released as open-source suite of program and is fully modular and customizable. AGWA automates the process of converting commonly available geospatial data to input parameter files for two hydrologic models. The modeling capability of the AGWA tool was demonstrated by presenting two case studies. The first case study consisted in evaluating the hydrologic response of the Upper San Pedro Basin to land cover change over several decades. The second case study illustrated the application of the AGWA tool to evaluate the response of the San Pedro River basin to possible future urbanization scenarios in the year 2020.

Technical Abstract: : The emphasis in natural resource management is shifting from inventory and exploitation to an integrated, broad-scale approach with the goals of maintaining diversity, balance and long-term productivity of the environment. Accomplishing this requires an understanding of spatio-temporal processes on a detailed, integrated and formalized level. The advent of remotely sensed and other forms of geospatial data has facilitated the study of large-scale, complex spatio-temporal processes. The need to assimilate this wealth of information when making decisions is increasing the demand for integrated computer-based tools capable of storing, manipulating and analyzing environmental data. This chapter describes in detail the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) tool, which is an integrated hydrologic modeling toolkit developed by the USDA-ARS-Southwest Watershed Research Center in cooperation with the USEPA-National Exposure Research Laboratory-Landscape Science Program. AGWA was designed to perform watershed assessment across multiple spatial and temporal scales to facilitate scientific study and resource management. After an introductory section, this chapter presents a detailed description of AGWA, and two case studies illustrating the application of the tool. The case studies include: (1) assessing the impact of land cover and land use change on water quantity and quality and (2) investigating the hydrologic impacts likely to result from a variety of forecasted population growth and development scenarios (alternative futures) for a semi-arid basin on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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