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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #389286

Research Project: Sustainable Intensification of Integrated Crop-Pasture-Livestock Systems in Northeastern Landscapes

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Title: Evaluating the halfmoon creek watershed implementation plan using the soil water assessment tool

item TAYLOR, RACHEL - Pennsylvania State University
item PREISENDANZ, HEATHER - Pennsylvania State University
item Veith, Tameria - Tamie

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2021
Publication Date: 11/5/2021
Citation: Taylor, R., Preisendanz, H., Veith, T.L. 2021. Evaluating the halfmoon creek watershed implementation plan using the soil water assessment tool[abstract]. Meeting Abstract. P.1.

Interpretive Summary: No Interpretive Summary is required for this Abstract Only. JLB.

Technical Abstract: Agriculture is a major contributor to the degradation of water quality, with water leaving cropland and livestock land uses in leaching and/or surface runoff pathways containing various pollutants. These diffuse pathways of pollution, known as nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, are particularly difficult to locate and quantify, thereby making Hydrologic and Water Quality (H/WQ) models important tools in understanding agricultural impacts on water quality. In the Chesapeake Bay watershed, each state is required to develop Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) to meet mandated load reduction goals for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment. To meet these WIPs in Pennsylvania, catchment-specific management plans are being developed, often with significant stakeholder engagement throughout the planning and implementation processes. This research uses the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to simulate the nutrient and sediment load reduction that may be achieved by the watershed management plan proposed by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) in the Halfmoon Creek watershed in central Pennsylvania. First, a baseline scenario is developed based on the current land use in the study watershed. Second, a WIP scenario is developed based on the numbers and types of the best management practices (BMPs) that are expected to be implemented under the watershed management plan. The SWAT simulation results will also be compared to the results that CBF has obtained using the online “ModelMyWatershed” simulation tool to evaluate whether or not the necessary load reduction goals are likely to be achieved. The results of this research will be shared with the CBF to assist in the implementation of the BMPs specified in the watershed management plan.