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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SOIL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS FOR DRYLAND AND IRRIGATED CROPPING SYSTEMS

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Title: Manipulation of the SWAT code to model veterinary antibiotics in the environment

Authors
item Aboukinane, Chehrazade -
item Jin, Virginia
item Van Liew, Michael -
item Arnold, Jeffrey
item Srinivasan, Raghavan -

Submitted to: Annual International SWAT Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 17, 2010
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Veterinary antibiotics (VAs) are widely used to treat diseases and protect the health of animals. They are also incorporated into animal feed to improve growth rate and feed efficiency. As VAs are poorly adsorbed in animal intestines, the majority is excreted unchanged in feces and urine. Given that land application of animal waste as a supplement to fertilizers is often a common practice in many countries, there is a growing international concern about the potential impact of antibiotic residues in the environment. Unlike other conventional industrial chemical pollutants, VAs possess several characteristics that make them different while assessing and modeling their fate and transport in the environment. Some of these attributes include: Solubility, pH (both soil and aqueous), organic carbon content, molecular structure, ionization, dissociation constant, octanol water distribution coefficient and sludge sorption/desorption. During this study, the SWAT code was modified to include few major parameters mentioned above to model VAs as well as other veterinary medicines in agricultural dominated watersheds. The watershed used for model testing was the Shell Creek Watershed, which is located in Northeastern Nebraska and drains an area of 1214 square km in parts of Boone, Colfax, Madison, and Platte Counties. Cattles and swine feedlot operations within the Shell Creek drainage constitute the major contributor to VAs loadings. Other major water quality issues include erosion, sedimentation, nitrogen, and phosphorus as well as degradation from other non-point sources and loss of aquatic and wildlife habitat.

Technical Abstract: Veterinary antibiotics (VAs) are widely used to treat diseases and protect the health of animals. They are also incorporated into animal feed to improve growth rate and feed efficiency. As VAs are poorly adsorbed in animal intestines, the majority is excreted unchanged in feces and urine. Given that land application of animal waste as a supplement to fertilizers is often a common practice in many countries, there is a growing international concern about the potential impact of antibiotic residues in the environment. Unlike other conventional industrial chemical pollutants, VAs possess several characteristics that make them different while assessing and modeling their fate and transport in the environment. Some of these attributes include: Solubility, pH (both soil and aqueous), organic carbon content, molecular structure, ionization, dissociation constant, octanol water distribution coefficient and sludge sorption/desorption. During this study, the SWAT code was modified to include few major parameters mentioned above to model VAs as well as other veterinary medicines in agricultural dominated watersheds. The watershed used for model testing was the Shell Creek Watershed, which is located in Northeastern Nebraska and drains an area of 1214 square km in parts of Boone, Colfax, Madison, and Platte Counties. Cattles and swine feedlot operations within the Shell Creek drainage constitute the major contributor to VAs loadings. Other major water quality issues include erosion, sedimentation, nitrogen, and phosphorus as well as degradation from other non-point sources and loss of aquatic and wildlife habitat.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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