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Open AccessArticle

Application of the RSPARROW Modeling Tool to Estimate Total Nitrogen Sources to Streams and Evaluate Source Reduction Management Scenarios in the Grande River Basin, Brazil

1
U.S. Geological Survey, Integrated Modeling and Prediction Division, Boulder, CO 80303, USA
2
Brazilian National Water and Sanitation Agency, Setor Policial, área 5, Quadra 3, Bloco M, Brasiília 7010-200, Brazil
3
Independent Researcher, 7205 Tall Pine Way, Clarksville, MD 21029, USA
4
U.S. Geological Survey, Maryland-Delaware-DC Water Science Center, 5522 Research Park Dr, Baltimore, MD 21228, USA
5
U.S. Geological Survey, Integrated Information Dissemination Division, University Park, PA 16802, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(10), 2911; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102911
Received: 10 September 2020 / Revised: 4 October 2020 / Accepted: 6 October 2020 / Published: 18 October 2020
Large-domain hydrological models are increasingly needed to support water-resource assessment and management in large river basins. Here, we describe results for the first Brazilian application of the SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) model using a new open-source modeling and interactive decision support system tool (RSPARROW) to quantify the origin, flux, and fate of total nitrogen (TN) in two sub-basins of the Grande River Basin (GRB; 43,000 km2). Land under cultivation for sugar cane, urban land, and point source inputs from wastewater treatment plants was estimated to each contribute approximately 30% of the TN load at the outlet, with pasture land contributing about 10% of the load. Hypothetical assessments of wastewater treatment plant upgrades and the building of new facilities that could treat currently untreated urban runoff suggest that these management actions could potentially reduce loading at the outlet by as much as 20–25%. This study highlights the ability of SPARROW and the RSPARROW mapping tool to assist with the development and evaluation of management actions aimed at reducing nutrient pollution and eutrophication. The freely available RSPARROW modeling tool provides new opportunities to improve understanding of the sources, delivery, and transport of water-quality contaminants in watersheds throughout the world. View Full-Text
Keywords: watershed modeling; Brazil; nutrient source attribution; eutrophication; evaluation of management actions watershed modeling; Brazil; nutrient source attribution; eutrophication; evaluation of management actions
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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.5066/P9FZV0Z0
    Link: https://doi.org/10.5066/P9FZV0Z0
    Description: A model archive that includes the model input and calibration data as well as model predictions is publicly available [63].
MDPI and ACS Style

Miller, M.P.; de Souza, M.L.; Alexander, R.B.; Sanisaca, L.G.; Teixeira, A.A.; Appling, A.P. Application of the RSPARROW Modeling Tool to Estimate Total Nitrogen Sources to Streams and Evaluate Source Reduction Management Scenarios in the Grande River Basin, Brazil. Water 2020, 12, 2911.

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