Next Article in Journal
Understanding the Mississippi River Delta as a Coupled Natural-Human System: Research Methods, Challenges, and Prospects
Next Article in Special Issue
Trend and Change-Point Analysis of Streamflow and Sediment Discharge of the Gongshui River in China during the Last 60 Years
Previous Article in Journal
Assessing the Hydrologic Performance of a Green Roof Retrofitting Scenario for a Small Urban Catchment
Previous Article in Special Issue
Temporal and Spatial Flow Variations over a Movable Scour Hole Downstream of a Grade-Control Structure with a PIV System
Article Menu
Issue 8 (August) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Water 2018, 10(8), 1053; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10081053

Reducing High Flows and Sediment Loading through Increased Water Storage in an Agricultural Watershed of the Upper Midwest, USA

1
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN 55812, USA
2
Now at the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
3
Department of Watershed Sciences, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322, USA
4
The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, University of Maryland, Annapolis, MD 21401, USA
5
Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 June 2018 / Revised: 31 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 8 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Hydrology, Erosion and Sediment Transport Processes)
Full-Text   |   PDF [24904 KB, uploaded 20 August 2018]   |  

Abstract

Climate change, land clearing, and artificial drainage have increased the Minnesota River Basin’s (MRB) stream flows, enhancing erosion of channel banks and bluffs. Accelerated erosion has increased sediment loads and sedimentation rates downstream. High flows could be reduced through increased water storage (e.g., wetlands or detention basins), but quantifying the effectiveness of such a strategy remains a challenge. We used the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to simulate changes in river discharge from various water retention site (WRS) implementation scenarios in the Le Sueur watershed, a tributary basin to the MRB. We also show how high flow attenuation can address turbidity issues by quantifying the impact on near-channel sediment loading in the watershed’s incised reaches. WRS placement in the watershed, hydraulic conductivity (K), and design depth were varied across 135 simulations. The dominant control on site performance is K, with greater flow reductions allowed by higher seepage rates and less frequent overflowing. Deeper design depths enhance flow reductions from sites with low K values. Differences between WRS placement scenarios are slight, suggesting that site placement is not a first-order control on overall performance in this watershed. Flow reductions exhibit power-law scaling with exceedance probability, enabling us to create generalized relationships between WRS extent and flow reductions that accurately reproduce our SWAT results and allow for more rapid evaluation of future scenarios. Overall, we show that increasing water storage within the Le Sueur watershed can be an effective management option for high flow and sediment load reduction. View Full-Text
Keywords: Soil and Water Assessment Tool; SWAT; sediment; wetlands; Le Sueur Soil and Water Assessment Tool; SWAT; sediment; wetlands; Le Sueur
Figures

Figure 1

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).

Supplementary material

SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Mitchell, N.; Kumarasamy, K.; Cho, S.J.; Belmont, P.; Dalzell, B.; Gran, K. Reducing High Flows and Sediment Loading through Increased Water Storage in an Agricultural Watershed of the Upper Midwest, USA. Water 2018, 10, 1053.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top