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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbus, Ohio » Soil Drainage Research » Research » Research Project #442234

Research Project: Evaluating Field- and Watershed-scale Water Quality Benefits of H2Ohio Conservation Practices in the Maumee River Watershed

Location: Soil Drainage Research

Project Number: 5080-13210-003-027-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 15, 2022
End Date: Jun 30, 2024

Objective 1: Map existing conservation and management practices in the Maumee River watershed using high-resolution data sources. Objective 2: Improve the field-scale watershed model of the Maumee River Watershed with emerging data sources. Objective 3: Evaluate and provide guidance on water quality benefits of the H2Ohio practices and program.

H2Ohio is a state-funded initiative to address water quality issues in the state of Ohio. The field research will be conducted on our edge-of-field (EOF) network using a before-after control-impact (BACI) design. Baseline data has already been collected at the paired field locations. We will implement one of the ten practices outlined in the H2Ohio initiative on one field, while managing the other field in the pair with prevailing practices and then measure both surface and subsurface (tile) discharge and water quality to quantify and determine the impact of the treatment practice. The treatment phase will be conducted for a minimum one crop rotation (i.e., 2 yrs for corn-soybean rotation or 3 yrs for corn-soybean-wheat rotation). The primary response variables will be discharge, nitrate-nitrogen, and dissolved and total phosphorus. This data will be used for development and assessment of a watershed scale model. Based on the EOF findings, we will then calibrate the model and project the impact of different H2Ohio practices across Ohio’s Western Lake Erie Basin watershed.