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Research Project: Ecohydrological Processes, Scale, Climate Variability, and Watershed Management

Location: Southwest Watershed Research Center

Title: Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment Tool (AGWA)

Author
item GUERTIN, D.P. - University Of Arizona
item Goodrich, David - Dave
item BURNS, I.S. - University Of Arizona
item KORGAONKAR, Y. - University Of Arizona
item BARLOW, J. - University Of Arizona
item SHEPPARD, B.S. - University Of Arizona
item Unkrich, Carl
item KEPNER, W.G. - Us Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Submitted to: American Society Of Civil Engineers Watershed Management Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/29/2015
Publication Date: 8/5/2015
Citation: Guertin, D., Goodrich, D.C., Burns, I., Korgaonkar, Y., Barlow, J., Sheppard, B., Unkrich, C.L., Kepner, W. 2015. Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment Tool (AGWA). Environmental & Water Resources Institute 2015 Watershed Management Conference (American Society of Civil Engineers). Reston, VA. 5-7 August 2015, pp. 120-130.

Interpretive Summary: When water quantity or water quality is of interest, watersheds are a natural organizing unit in our landscape. The pathways and processes that affect runoff generation from a watershed result from a complex interaction of the climate, topography, soils, land cover, and land use. Numerous computer models have been developed to estimate how a watershed produces runoff from rainfall and snowfall. The KINEROS2 and SWAT models are two common examples. These models often require significant data preparation and input to use them. To expedite this task we have developed the AGWA (Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment hydrologic modeling tool which uses nationally available spatial data sets to setup, run, and display the results from KINEROS2 and SWAT. With these tools, natural resource managers, engineers, and scientists can estimate runoff and places in the watershed that may be prone to flood damage or water quality problems. These users can also evaluate how conservation measures and changes in land use practices might improve water quality. Application examples of AGWA will be presented including post-fire assessment, implementation of rangeland BMPs, green infrastructure, and future change analysis.

Technical Abstract: The Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment tool (AGWA, see: www.tucson.ars.ag.gov/agwa or http://www.epa.gov/esd/land-sci/agwa/) is a GIS interface jointly developed by the USDA Agricultural Research Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the University of Arizona, and the University of Wyoming to automate the parameterization and execution of a suite of hydrologic and erosion models (RHEM, KINEROS2 and SWAT). Through an intuitive interface the user selects an outlet from which AGWA delineates and discretizes the watershed using a Digital Elevation Model (DEM). The watershed model elements are then intersected with terrain, soils, and land cover data layers to derive the requisite model input parameters. The chosen model is then run, and the results are imported back into AGWA for graphical display. AGWA can difference results from multiple simulations to examine relative change over a variety of input scenarios (e.g. climate/storm change, land cover change, implementation of BMPs, present conditions and alternative futures). This allows managers to identify potential problem areas where additional monitoring can be undertaken or mitigation activities can be focused. Application examples of AGWA will be presented including post-fire assessment, implementation of rangeland BMPs, green infrastructure, and future change analysis. Versions of AGWA are available for ESRI ArcView 3.x and ArcGIS 9.x and 10.x.