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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory

2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this cooperative research project is to accomplish and provide the deliverables that are outlined in the project work plan entitled "A Project to Develop Databases for the Hydrologic and Water Quality System (HAWQS)". That project work plan is the scope of work for the USDA-ARS's Interagency Agreement with the EPA (ARS-60-6206-9-086 / EPA-DW-12-92219401-6 & 7), and is hereby attached to this agreement as the scope of work for this agreement. Objectives include: 1) developing a HAWQS design that is consistent with EPA's Federal Enterprise Architecture; 2) developing a HAWQS input database to fully support SWAT and SPARROW model applications on the NHD; 3) aggregating input data for different spatial and temporal modeling scales; 4) developing plans for SWAT model upgrades, HAWQS utilities and interfaces, and a model application; 5) documenting databases; and 6) participating in an ad-hoc interagency review team sponsored by EPA to discuss the development of HAWQS.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
The approach is described in detail in the attached scope of work entitled "A Project to Develop Databases for the Hydrologic and Water Quality System (HAWQS)". This project will provide databases and modeling system utilities to support the development of a large-scale water quality modeling system for national-scale economic benefit assessment. HAWQS will be designed to support a wide variety of national-scale economic benefit assessments for the US EPA Office of Water (OW), and will be an extension of the Hydrologic Unit Model of the United States (HUMUS). HUMUS has recently been updated and is being used to support an assessment of the in-stream water quality benefits of agricultural conservation practices for USDA's Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). CEAP-HUMUS presently consists of geo-spatial data for modeling hydrology, sediment, nutrients, and pesticides; pre-processors to configure SWAT model input files; and post-processors for SWAT model output. This project will extend CEAP-HUMUS by updating input data and upgrading SWAT modeling capabilities, replacing the existing stream network with the National Hydrology Dataset (NHD), and creating interfaces and data management utilities. This reorganization is necessary to support higher levels of resolution needed for EPA's economic benefit assessments and to maintain consistency across the OW's databases and data management systems.

3. Progress Report
The SWAT model was parameterized for the entire conterminous U.S. using 2,150 USGS 8-digit subwatersheds and more than 250,000 hydrologic response units to represent soil and land use heterogeneity. The model was calibrated and validated for flow, sediment yields, nitrogen, and phosphorus at more than 50 stream gages across the U.S. We are currently downscaling to use 55,000 USGS 12-digit subwatersheds, with the ultimate goal of parameterizing SWAT for all watersheds defined by the National Hydrography Dataset (3,000,000 subwatersheds in the conterminous U.S.). A conceptual model for fate and transport of pharmaceuticals (hormones and antibiotics) across the landscape was refined. Experts in fate and transport of pharmaceuticals from LSU (Louisiana State University), Texas A&M, and Baylor were consulted to refine the conceptual model. It is currently being tested at the City of Austin biosolids application area and at the Shell Creek watershed in Nebraska. The ADODR works with Texas AgriLife Research Blackland Research Center to develop and review the reports before sending to USEPA. The reports document progress, identify issues, and ensure that the project is on schedule. We review monthly spending statements and closely monitor the account. Upon receiving annual billing statements, we reconfirm that these services have been provided and meet project requirements.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 08/22/2017
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