Submitted to: Annual International SWAT Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 11, 2009
Publication Date: August 5, 2009
Citation: Bosch, D.D., Cho, J., Vellidis, G., Lowrance, R.R., Strickland, T.C. 2009. Little River Watershed Conservation Practice Assessment with SWAT. Annual International SWAT Conference, August 5-7, 2009, Boulder, Colorado. Technical Abstract: The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was initiated in 2003 to quantify the environmental impacts of USDA conservation practices at the watershed scale. One of the goals of the project is to assess the ability of physically based watershed scale models to simulate the effects of conservation practices. The SWAT model was selected to quantify the impact of historical practices on hydrology and water quality in the Little River Experimental Watershed (LREW). Hydrology and water quality data have been measured for more than 30 years within the watershed. The LREW is one of fourteen benchmark watersheds for CEAP, representing a typical Coastal Plain Watershed. The objective of this study was to evaluate alternative scenarios for implementing conservation practices within the watershed. To achieve this objective, SWAT was calibrated and validated, considering cause and effect relationships between measured water quality trends and documented conservation practices. Sensitive pollutant source areas were identified based on 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 no further improvement was observed was indentified. The study will be useful for maximizing the efficiency of conservation practices on improving water quality using restricted resources.