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ARS Home » Plains Area » Temple, Texas » Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #350058

Research Project: Resilient Management Systems and Decision Support Tools to Optimize Agricultural Production and Watershed Responses from Field to National Scale

Location: Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory

Title: A new framework for modeling decentralized low impact developments using Soil and Water Assessment Tool

Author
item Her, Younggu - University Of Florida
item Jeong, Jaehak - Texas A&M Agrilife
item Arnold, Jeffrey
item Gosselink, Leila - City Of Austin
item Glick, Roger - City Of Austin
item Jaber, Fouad - Texas A&M Agrilife

Submitted to: Environmental Modelling & Software
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2017
Publication Date: 7/15/2017
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5922772
Citation: Her, Y., Jeong, J., Arnold, J.G., Gosselink, L., Glick, R., Jaber, F. 2017. A new framework for modeling decentralized low impact developments using Soil and Water Assessment Tool. Environmental Modelling & Software. 96:305-322. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2017.06.05.

Interpretive Summary: Recently, urban planners have been utilizing decentralized low impact practices to improve water management and water quality in urban watersheds. These low impact practices include green roof, rain garden, cistern, and porous pavement. To assess the impact of these practices on runoff and water quality in urban watersheds, we developed computational models of each process and incorporated them in the watershed model SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool). We applied the model to a highly urbanized watershed in Austin, Texas. Results suggest that the performance of the practices is dependent on application areas, configurations, and storm intensities. Thus, the enhanced SWAT model is useful in designing effective placement of practices within an urban watershed.

Technical Abstract: Assessing the performance of Low Impact Development (LID) practices at a catchment scale is important in managing urban watersheds. Few modeling tools exist that are capable of explicitly representing the hydrological mechanisms of LIDs while considering the diverse land uses of urban watersheds. In this paper, we propose computational modules that simulate the hydrological processes of LIDs including green roof, rain garden, cistern, and porous pavement. The applicability of the modules was evaluated using plot scale experimental monitoring data. The effectiveness of LIDs was investigated in a highly urbanized watershed located in Austin, TX. Results indicate that the performance of LIDs is sensitive to LID configurations, application areas, and storm event characteristics, suggesting the need for studies on spatial optimization of LIDs and critical storm events to maximize the utility of LIDs. The LID modules offer a comprehensive modeling framework that explicitly simulates the water quantity processes of the LIDs considering landscape heterogeneity.