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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: Agwa: the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment Tool to Inform Rangeland Management

Authors
item Goodrich, David
item Guertin, D. -
item Burns, I. -
item Nearing, Mark
item Stone, Jeffry
item Wei, H. -
item Heilman, Philip
item Hernandez, M. -
item Spaeth, K. -
item Pierson, Frederick
item Paige, G. -
item Miler, S. -
item Kepner, W. -
item Mcclaran, M. -
item Weltz, Mark
item Jolley, L. -

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2011
Publication Date: August 22, 2011
Repository URL: http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.2111/1551-501X-33.4.41
Citation: Goodrich, D.C., Guertin, D.P., Burns, I.S., Nearing, M.A., Stone, J.J., Wei, H., Heilman, P., Hernandez, M., Spaeth, K., Pierson Jr, F.B., Paige, G.B., Miler, S.N., Kepner, W., Mcclaran, M.P., Weltz, M.A., Jolley, L. 2011. AGWA: The Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment Tool to inform rangeland management. Rangelands. 33(4):41-47.

Interpretive Summary: America’s rangelands cover about 80% of the western U.S. and provide habitat for wildlife, recreational opportunities, forage for livestock, a source of minerals and raw materials, and water resources for irrigating crops and the rapidly urbanizing western states. Effective rangeland management requires the ability to assess the potential impacts of management actions on soil erosion and sediment yield at both the hillslope and watershed scales. Many of the current tools for assessing and evaluating the effects of rangeland management practices on soil and water resources were originally developed for traditional cropland agricultural practices. New Decision Support Tools (DSTs) that are easy-to-use, incorporate ecological concepts and rangeland management practices, use readily available data, and are designed to represent rangeland hydrologic and erosion processes are the focus of this article. The recently developed RHEM (Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model) and the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment tool (AGWA) form the foundation of this DST. RHEM is applicable at the hillslope scale. AGWA enables application of RHEM at the watershed scale, allowing assessments of larger areas.

Technical Abstract: Do you want a relatively easy to use tool to assess rangeland soil and water conservation practices on rangeland erosion that is specifically designed to use ecological information? Effective rangeland management requires the ability to assess the potential impacts of management actions on soil erosion and sediment yield at both the hillslope and watershed scales. Many of the current tools for assessing and evaluating the effects of rangeland management practices on soil and water resources were originally developed for traditional cropland agricultural practices. Current technologies also do not directly utilize information at the ecological site level. Ecological Site Descriptions and associated State and Transition Models which are being adopted by a number of land management agencies. New Decision Support Tools (DSTs) that are easy-to-use, incorporate ecological concepts and rangeland management practices, use readily available data, and are designed to represent rangeland hydrologic and erosion processes are the focus of this article. The recently developed RHEM (Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model) and the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment tool (AGWA) form the foundation of this DST. RHEM is applicable at the hillslope scale. AGWA enables application of RHEM at the watershed scale, allowing assessments of larger areas.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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