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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Tucson, Arizona » SWRC » Research » Research Project #427626

Research Project: Acquiring and Integrating Big Data into ARS Models to Assess Historical Hydro-climatic Trends and Projected Climate Impacts at LTAR Locations

Location: Southwest Watershed Research Center

Project Number: 2022-13610-012-02-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 10, 2014
End Date: Sep 9, 2019

The objectives of this cooperative research project are to develop new methods and technologies to assess the effectiveness of conservation practices currently employed on rangelands of the Western United States. The project involves the measurement and modeling of hydrology, erosion and sediment yield at a range of scales, with an emphasis on the development of a dynamic model with capability to interface with the watershed models and a user-friendly, web-based interface for representing both disturbed and undisturbed site conditions on rangelands with risk-based analysis, with capability for representing orographic precipitation effects, and with inter-storm updates to key model parameters. The tool will be implemented and tested with its application to the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). Challenges include the ability to model hydrologic and sediment-related processes across scales ranging from a few meters to kilometers. The approach will entail significant geospatial database and modeling needs which are acquired through our cooperator at the University of Arizona.

The project will a) change Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) equations from the current steady-state to fully Dynamic Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (DRHEM) so that intra-storm changes in erodibility common to many disturbed conditions can be represented, b) incorporate existing technology based on PRISM and CLIGEN into the DRHEM model framework to allow modification of precipitation and temperature inputs to account for orographic effects that dominate spatial patterns on the western U.S., c) provide new data for DRHEM model development, parameter estimation, and validation studies, d) develop a catalog of DRHEM input for Ecological Site Descriptions and critical rangeland management practices, e) develop a catalog of the spatial and temporal scale of rangeland BMPs and how they should be represented in the watershed model at the larger allotment or landscape scale, f) couple DRHEM and KINEROS2 and test over a range of conditions, g) integrate the DRHEM KINEROS2 Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model into the Automated geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) Geographic Information Systems (GIS) framework, h) develop AGWA tools to delineate and represent rangeland conservation management practices with NRCS, and i) conduct large area testing of the integrated tool in close coordination with the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) pilot watershed effort for Rangeland CEAP.