Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/19/2008
Publication Date: 6/21/2009
Citation: Cho, J., Vellidis, G., Bosch, D.D., Lowrance, R.R., Strickland, T.C. 2009. Evaluation of Alternative Scenarios for Conservation Practice Application Within the Little River Watershed. ASABE Annual International Meeting, June 21-24, 2009, Reno, Nevada.
Technical Abstract: Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was initiated in 2003 to quantify the environmental benefits of USDA conservation practices. Long-term hydrology and water quality data have been measured for more than 30 years within the Little River Experimental Watershed (LREW), which is one of ARS benchmarking watersheds for CEAP. The LREW represents a typical Coastal Plain Watershed. Spatial GIS data sets describing historical installation of conservation practices were developed for the LREW. The SWAT model was selected to quantify the impact of historical conservation practices on hydrology and water quality in the LREW. The objective of this study is to evaluate alternative scenarios for implementation of conservation practices by considering priorities of sensitive pollutant source areas. To achieve goal, SWAT was calibrated and validated by considering cause and effect relationships between measured water quality trends and documented conservation practices. Sensitive pollutant source areas were identified based on the simulated pollutant loads from upland areas. Alternative scenarios were developed and areas for conservation practice applications were continuously increased from the most to the least sensitive pollutant source areas. Finally, the critical point at which the pollutant reduction rate decreases was indentified. The result of this study will be useful to maximize the efficiency of conservation practices on improving water quality using restricted resources.