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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » National Sedimentation Laboratory » Watershed Physical Processes Research » Research » Research Project #430609

Research Project: Computational Tools and a Decision Support System for Management of Sediment and Water Quality in Agricultural Watersheds

Location: Watershed Physical Processes Research

Project Number: 6060-13000-028-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 15, 2017
End Date: Mar 16, 2022

1. Provide accurate, efficient and user friendly multi-dimensional numerical models for studying: 1.1. Water driven soil erosion and sediment transport. 1.2. Embankment breaching processes and associated flooding problems. 1.3. Agro-pollutant transport and water quality problems. 2. Develop a web-based Agricultural Integrated Management System (AIMS) that disseminates seamless geospatial data for modeling purposes and sustainable watershed management, and provides automated simulations of runoff, sediment, and agro-pollutant loadings for any watershed in the U.S. 2.1. Development of the AIMS portal with user access management system and geospatial map server with graphical user interface (GUI), and its maintenance. 2.2. Preparation of geospatial data layers to be provided for both dissemination and use in models for sustainable watershed management implemented in AIMS. 2.3. Adapting TopAGNPS and AnnAGNPS to improve their performance on the web-based, multi-user environment of AIMS portal. 2.4. Adaptation and implementation of BMPTOOL (Best Management Practices Tool), IWMTool (Integrated Watershed Management Tool) and CCIT (GIS-Based Cover crop Implementation Tool) under AIMS portal.

Sediment and agro-chemicals from agricultural watersheds and streams are transported into lakes and rivers where they degrade the aquatic eco-system and general water quality. The University of Mississippi, National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering (NCCHE) has developed a number of computational models capable of simulating free-surface flows, soil erosion, embankment, levee and dam breaching, flood flows, sediment/contaminant transport, optimization analysis and decisions support systems for watershed management. These models have been rigorously verified and validated in previous research and are continuously being improved and upgraded. Computational modeling and effective decision support systems are needed in order to study problems and find solutions for soil erosion, gully erosion, sediment transport, embankment breaching and consequential flood inundation. NCCHE staff will work closely with the research scientists of the USDA to utilize these reliable and efficient models to study, understand and resolve the soil and water related problems in agriculture watersheds. At the same time, existing models need to be improved and enhanced by adopting new methods and merging technologies in order to better serve the needs of the agriculture research. The main focus of this project are issues of embankment breaching and flood inundation, detailed watershed runoff, erosion and pollutant transport, local scouring around instream structures, water quality and eco-systems affected by watershed, sediment transport optimal control, software efficiency improvements and decision support for watershed management. This research will help to achieve the goals of Water Availability and Watershed Management.