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Water 2018, 10(2), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020222

Hydrological Responses to Various Land Use, Soil and Weather Inputs in Northern Lake Erie Basin in Canada

1
School of Engineering, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Rd E, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
2
School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Rd E, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
3
Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Branch, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, 125 Resources Road, Etobicoke, ON, M9P 3V6, Canada
4
Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, QC H9X 3V9, Canada
5
College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Rd E, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 19 February 2018
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Abstract

In the last decade, Lake Erie, one of the great lakes bordering Canada and the USA has been under serious threat due to increased phosphorus levels originating from agricultural fields. Large scale watersheds contributing to Lake Erie from the USA side are being simulated using hydrological and water quality (H/WQ) models such as the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and the results from the model are being used by policy and decision makers to implement better management decisions to solve emerging phosphorus issues. On the Canadian side, modeling applications are limited to either small watersheds or one major watershed contributing to Lake Erie. To the best of our knowledge, no efforts have been made to model the entire contributing watersheds to Lake Erie from Canada. This study applied the SWAT model for Northern Lake Erie Basin (NLEB; entire contributing basin to Lake Erie). Various provincial, national and global inputs of weather, land use and soil at various resolutions was assessed to evaluate the effects of input data types on the simulation of hydrological processes and streamflows. Twelve scenarios were developed using the input combinations and selected scenarios were evaluated at selected locations along the Grand and Thames Rivers using model performance statistics, and graphical comparisons of time variable plots and flow duration curves (FDCs). In addition, various hydrological components such as surface runoff, water yield, and evapotranspiration were also evaluated. Global level coarse resolution weather and soil did not perform better compared to fine resolution national data. Interestingly, in the case of land use, global and national/provincial land use were close, however, fine resolution provincial data performed slightly better. This study found that interpolated weather data from Environment Canada climate station observations performed slightly better compared to the measured data and therefore could be a good choice to use for large-scale H/WQ modeling studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: SWAT; Lake Erie; input data comparison; DEM; land use; soils SWAT; Lake Erie; input data comparison; DEM; land use; soils
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Daggupati, P.; Shukla, R.; Mekonnen, B.; Rudra, R.; Biswas, A.; Goel, P.K.; Prasher, S.; Yang, W. Hydrological Responses to Various Land Use, Soil and Weather Inputs in Northern Lake Erie Basin in Canada. Water 2018, 10, 222.

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