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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: HYDROLOGIC PROCESSES, SCALE, CLIMATE VARIABILITY, AND WATER RESOURCES FOR SEMIARID WATERSHED MANAGEMENT Title: Automated Geospatial Waershed Asessment Tool for Rangelands

Authors
item Guertin, D.P. -
item Paige, G. -
item Goodrich, David
item Nearing, Mark
item Miler, S.N. -
item Heilman, Philip
item Stone, Jeffry
item Ruyle, G. -
item Burns, S. -
item Wei, H. -
item Mcclaran, M. -

Submitted to: Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 25, 2010
Publication Date: July 1, 2010
Citation: Guertin, D., Paige, G., Goodrich, D.C., Nearing, M.A., Miler, S., Heilman, P., Stone, J.J., Ruyle, G., Burns, S., Wei, H., Mcclaran, M. 2010. Automated Geospatial Waershed Asessment Tool for Rangelands. Proceedings CD-ROM of the Joint 9th Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference and 4th Federal Interagency Hydrologic Modeling Conference, June 27 - July 1, 2010, Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Interpretive Summary: This paper summarizes the current state of a long-term project to develop the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment tool (AGWA). The tool was developed jointly by the USDA-ARS, U.S. EPA, University of Arizona, and University of Wyoming. AGWA is designed to provide information about the effects of management on rangeland watershed hydrology, erosion, and sedimentation. The fundamental premise in the tool's construction is that hydrologic and erosion models are very complex and that a simple interface will support much more widespread application of watershed simulation models. Consequently, AGWA is a Geographic Information system (GIS) interface for data organization, parameterization, integration, and visualization of models to support watershed assessments. The paper describes the structure and functioning of AGWA, as well as working through an example of using the tool to assess the effect of stock ponds. For more information on AGWA visit the website: www.tucson.ars.ag.gov/agwa/.

Technical Abstract: Soil and water conservation is the keystone to sustainable livestock grazing and maintenance of native species on our western rangelands. Good rangeland management requires the ability to assess the potential impacts of climate and management actions on runoff and erosion at both hillslope and watershed scales. The premise of our research project is that the practice of rangeland management can be improved if rangeland managers have Decision Support Tools (DSTs) that are easy-to-use, built on range management concepts, use readily available data, and are designed for rangeland hydrologic and erosion processes. The project uses the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment tool (AGWA) as the foundation of a DST for rangeland watershed management. AGWA is GIS interface for data organization, parameterization, integration, and visualization of models to support watershed assessments; it was developed jointly by the USDA-ARS, U.S. EPA, University of Arizona, and University of Wyoming. The project integrates several ongoing projects to transform the current operational AGWA tool into a comprehensive DST for rangeland watershed management. Specifically, the project comprises: incorporating the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) into the AGWA interface for hillslope assessments; developing parameterization methods that represent the complexity of rangeland sites for different models; developing tools that will allow users to represent and analyze the impacts common rangeland management practices have on runoff and erosion; and developing tools that will allow users to assess the costs of soil and water conservation practices.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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