|Watershed Assessment of Conservation Practices
- Nutrients, pesticides, and emerging contaminants in drinking water supplies.
- 11,000 community water systems serving 180 million US customers.
- Emphasis on federal policy and dollars targeted for conservation programs.
- Excessive agrichemical concentrations in Hoover Reservoir requiring high cost treatment prior to delivery.
- Extensive subsurface tile drainage in watershed.
- 800,000 City of Columbus residents receive drinking water from Hoover Reservoir.
- Identify, develop, and quantify watershed scale water quality impacts of conservation practices.
- Quantify the watershed scale water chemistry impacts of precision nutrient management and pesticide management
- Paired design using both channelized and unchannelized streams; each watershed has an approximate 2 square mile drainage area
Progress & Findings:
- Paired design is valid and appropriate for these research sites.
- Three years of baseline data on each of four targeted watersheds.
- Field level management records collected for 70% of cropped area.
- Development, release, and implementation of a special Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) targeting precision nutrient management and pesticide management.
- Pesticide management practices significantly reduce stream level atrazine concentrations.
- Characterize the hydrology of channelized versus nonchannelized streams.
- Two years of hydrology measurements on two channelized and two nonchannelized streams within UBWC watershed.
- Hydrology of channelized and unchannelized streams is different.
- Measured differences in hydrology primarily realized in summer and winter.
- Headwater streams in UBWC watershed generally follow the accepted hydrology paradigm for headwater streams.
- Assess the benefits and costs of implementing conservation practices in the Upper Big Walnut Creek watershed.
- Conjoint analysis to determine value of improved drinking water.
- For every dollar spent on conservation practices the City of Columbus saved $2.58 on activated carbon.
- Atrazine concentrations in Hoover Reservoir were reduced.
WATERSHED ASSESSMENT OF CONSERVATION PRACTICES (PDF)