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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Research Project #435316

Research Project: FY2018 Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) Benchmark Watershed Assessment Studies on (croplands)

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-13610-029-46-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2018
End Date: Sep 30, 2019

Objective:
1. Continue monitoring of water quality at two USGS gage stations in the Choptank River watershed using in situ optical sensors that measure nitrate and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). The detailed data collected on stream flow and nitrate information will allow us to do a perform better flow and nitrate calibrations of the SWAT model at these two watersheds. 2. Continue water age-dating work using chiral MESA (a metabolite of the herbicide, metolachlor) with other CEAP and LTAR partners. The Choptank River has been a test bed for validating the use of an in situ integrative passive sampler methodology for measurement of chiral MESA. We will also continue monthly sampling of 15 subwatersheds to examine DOC and a suite of pesticide and nutrient contaminants. 3. Remote sensing work will focus on mapping ET with the expectation that improved measurement of ET will help resolve the impacts of increased use of irrigation on stream discharge in watersheds.

Approach:
1. Continued operation and maintenance of in situ nutrient sensors at Tuckahoe and Greensboro subwatersheds. 2. During the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the irrigated croplands within the eastern region of the Mississippi River. This increase has resulted in a higher demand for water use that has created enormous pressure on the availability and the sustainability of surface and groundwater resources in this region. Our goal is to use the SWAT+, a new and modified version of the model for irrigation assessment, to simulate the impacts of extensive irrigation practices on water balance in the Tuckahoe Creek watershed. 3. Develop datasets from irrigation intensity, flux tower measurements, and associated water quality parameters. 4. Integrate datasets to estimate effects of irrigation on ET using models such as ALEXI and DisALEXI and on water quality parameters using SWAT. Also, develop linkages between cropland modeling efforts under Watersheds CEAP and wetland modeling under the Mid Atlantic CEAP Wetlands project 5. Continue our contributions to STEWARDS from Choptank River watershed data collections. 6. Examine the fate of chiral MESA within the Tuckahoe and Greensboro subwatersheds and nested smaller subwatersheds. An important project goal is to obtain information that can be used to inform the SWAT model on groundwater transit times in different regions. Adjustments of model parameters to reflect transit times more accurately should improve the national modeling output under the CEAP 2 program.