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ARS Home » Research » Research Project #442220

Research Project: Evaluation of Management Impacts on Water and Soil Quality using Distributed Hydrologic and Transport Models

Location: Agroclimate and Hydraulics Research

Project Number: 3070-13000-013-006-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2022
End Date: Jul 31, 2025

Objective:
The main objective of this cooperative agreement is to develop process-based distributed hydrologic and transport models and to evaluate changes in soil and water quality under different management practices for a study site located at the USDA ARS in El Reno, Oklahoma. Specific objectives include: • Develop a hydrologic model using MIKE-SHE for the WRE experimental watersheds; • Evaluate the impacts of different management practices on sediment production and delivery using the newly developed sediment transport model (STM); • Develop a water quality model using ECOlab (MIKE-SHE water quality module) and evaluate the impacts of management practices on nutrient fate and transport.

Approach:
Hydrologic and transport models will be developed and evaluated in the Water Resources and Erosion (WRE) experimental watersheds located in the USDA-ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory (GRL), El Reno, Oklahoma. Preliminary hydrologic and erosion models were developed by Lee et al., (2022) and evaluated using data from two plots (out of eight) in the WRE to better understand water and sediment movements in agricultural landscapes subjected to land management. This study integrated a hydrologic model, MIKE-SHE (and a newly developed sediment transport model (STM), to evaluate the impacts of conventional till versus no-till management on sediment production and delivery. Their preliminary results showed that the distributed nature of the integrated models made it possible to capture the differences in sediment production and delivery between the two managements with high accuracy. Their results suggested that quantifying the impacts of management on water and soil quality requires models that can capture the soil heterogeneity and climate variability at the field-scale level. Research results will be disseminated through presentations at national professional meetings and peer-reviewed journal articles.