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Water 2015, 7(10), 5689-5704; doi:10.3390/w7105689

Modeling Water-Quality Loads to the Reservoirs of the Upper Trinity River Basin, Texas, USA

1
Department of Geography, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Korea
2
Blackland Research and Extension Center, Texas AgriLife Research, Texas A & M University System, Temple, TX 76502, USA
3
Soil and Water Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Temple, TX 76502, USA
4
Department of Environmental Engineering, Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering, Mysore, Karnataka 570006, India
5
Spatial Sciences Laboratory, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
6
Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600002, India
7
Environmental Division, Tarrant Regional Water District, Fort Worth, TX 76102, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Joan M. Brehm
Received: 8 July 2015 / Revised: 25 September 2015 / Accepted: 14 October 2015 / Published: 20 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Protection and Management)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [791 KB, uploaded 20 October 2015]   |  

Abstract

The Upper Trinity River Basin (TRB) is the most populated river basin and one of the largest water suppliers in Texas. However, sediment and nutrient loads are reducing the capacity of reservoirs and degrading water quality. The objectives of this study are to calibrate and validate the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model for ten study watersheds within the Upper TRB in order to assess nutrient loads into major reservoirs in the basin and to predict the effects of point source elimination and urbanization on nutrient loads through scenario analyses. SWAT performed reasonably well for the current condition except for two out of five tributaries in the Eagle Mountain watershed and total phosphorous OPEN ACCESS Water 2015, 7 5690 in Richland-Chambers. The impacts of simulated scenarios varied within watersheds. Point-source elimination achieved reductions ranging from 0.3% to 24% in total phosphorus and 1% to 56% in total nitrogen received by the reservoirs. Population and development projections were used to examine the impacts of urbanization on each watershed. Projected urbanization in 2030 had large effects on simulated total phosphorus loads in some watersheds, ranging from a reduction of 1% to an increase of 111%. Projected urbanization also affected simulated total nitrogen loads, from a reduction of 3% to an increase of 24%. One limitation of this study is the lack of long-term, up-to-date water quality data due to discontinued water-quality monitoring stations. Although careful considerations were given to the adjustment of parameter values reflecting various aspects of the nutrient processes, further data collection will enhance modeling study for assessment of these watersheds’ water resources and environmental problem. View Full-Text
Keywords: SWAT; total nitrogen; total phosphorus; Trinity River Basin; water quality SWAT; total nitrogen; total phosphorus; Trinity River Basin; water quality
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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MDPI and ACS Style

Lee, T.; Wang, X.; White, M.; Tuppad, P.; Srinivasan, R.; Narasimhan, B.; Andrews, D. Modeling Water-Quality Loads to the Reservoirs of the Upper Trinity River Basin, Texas, USA. Water 2015, 7, 5689-5704.

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