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Special Issue "Selected Papers on Sustainable Water Resources Management from the 2017 and 2018 International SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) Conference"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Raghavan Srinivasan

Spatial Science Laboratory, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: SWAT development; agriculture; watershed modeling; climate change; land use change; irrigation; best management practices; sustainable water and land management
Guest Editor
Dr. Yihun Taddele Dile

Spatial Sciences Laboratory in the Department of Ecosystem Sciences and Management, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77845, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: agriculture; watershed modeling; climate change; land use change; irrigation; best management practices; sustainable water and land management; resilience
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Shashidhar Thatikonda

Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Sangareddy, India
Website | E-Mail
Interests: bioremediation; contaminant transport modeling; environmental hydraulics; hydrology; hydro-climatology; remote sensing and GIS applications; waste water treatment; solid and hazardous waste management
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Tasuku Kato

Department of Ecoregion Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo 183-8538, Japan
Website | E-Mail
Interests: agriculture; water quality; irrigation and drainage; watershed management; simulation model

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainability is an international multi-disciplinary peer-reviewed open access journal on environmental, cultural, economic and social sustainability of human lifestyles. The journal provides an advanced forum for studies related to sustainability and sustainable development. Watershed modeling has been used as key tool in assessing the sustainability of water and land resource management. Findings from the modeling studies played a significant role in the decision-making process for a sustainable planet.

The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is one of the best biophysical modeling tools. It has the capability of simulating hydrology, soil erosion, pollutant transport, and crop growth. SWAT can predict the impact of land use/land cover, land management and climate changes on different biophysical processes. SWAT enables various scenario analyses, which are useful to explore sustainable water and land management strategies.

There were three international SWAT conferences in India, Malaysia, and Poland, where critical sustainability issues were discussed. Sustainability is planning to publish a Special Issue based on papers presented in these conferences. We are inviting papers that have a high quality and align with the scope of the journal for submission. Papers outside of the conference will also be accepted for submission. The scope of the Special Issue may include:

  • Sustainable water and resources management for building social-ecological resilience,
  • Impact of land use/land cover change and climate change,
  • Improving modeling approaches for sustainable water and land management,
  • Balancing economics and nature, and
  • Integrated water management through green-blue water paradigm.

Papers selected for this Special Issue will be subject to a rigorous peer-review process while thriving for fast dissemination of research findings, developments and applications.

Prof. Dr. Raghavan Srinivasan
Dr. Yihun Taddele Dile
Prof. Dr. Shashidhar Thatikonda
Prof. Dr. Tasuku Kato
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • environmental sustainability
  • ecosystem services
  • hydrology
  • water management
  • best management practices
  • land use/land cover change
  • climate change
  • resilience

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Model-Based Evaluation of Land Management Strategies with Regard to Multiple Ecosystem Services
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 3844; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10113844
Received: 10 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 23 October 2018
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Abstract
In agroecosystem management, conflicts between various services such as food provision and nutrient regulation are common. This study examined the trade-offs between selected ecosystem services such as food provision, water quantity and quality, erosion and climate regulations in an agricultural catchment in Western
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In agroecosystem management, conflicts between various services such as food provision and nutrient regulation are common. This study examined the trade-offs between selected ecosystem services such as food provision, water quantity and quality, erosion and climate regulations in an agricultural catchment in Western Switzerland. The aim was to explore the existing land use conflicts by a shift in land use and management strategy following two stakeholder-defined scenarios based on either land sparing or land sharing concepts. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to build an agro-hydrologic model of the region, which was calibrated and validated based on daily river discharge, monthly nitrate and annual crop yield, considering uncertainties associated with land management set up and model parameterization. The results show that land sparing scenario has the highest agricultural benefit, while also the highest nitrate concentration and GHG emissions. The land sharing scenario improves water quality and climate regulation services and reduces food provision. The management changes considered in the two land use scenarios did not seem to reduce the conflict but only led to a shift in trade-offs. Water quantity and erosion regulation remain unaffected by the two scenarios. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Improving Spatial Soil Moisture Representation through the Integration of SMAP and PROBA-V Products
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3459; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103459
Received: 28 June 2018 / Revised: 2 September 2018 / Accepted: 23 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
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Abstract
To increase the spatial resolution of Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), this study modifies the downscaling factor model based on the Temperature Vegetation Drought Index (TVDI) using data from the Project for On-Board Autonomy (PROBA-V). In the modified model,
[...] Read more.
To increase the spatial resolution of Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), this study modifies the downscaling factor model based on the Temperature Vegetation Drought Index (TVDI) using data from the Project for On-Board Autonomy (PROBA-V). In the modified model, TVDI parameters were derived from the temperature-vegetation space and the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI). This study was conducted in the north China region using SMAP, PROBA-V, and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer satellite images. The 9-km spatial resolution SMAP data was downscaled to 0.3-km spatial resolution soil moisture using a modified downscaling method. Downscaling accuracies from the original and modified downscaling factor models were compared based on field observations. The results show that both methods generated similar spatial distributions in which soil moisture estimates increased as vegetation coverage increased from built-up areas to forest. However, based on the root mean square error between observations and estimations, the modified model demonstrated an increased estimation accuracy of 4.2% for soil moisture compared to the original method. This study also implies that downscaled soil moisture shows promise as a data source for subsequent watershed scale studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Impacts of Climate Variability and Reforestation Activities on Water Resources in the Headwaters of the Segura River Basin (SE Spain)
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3277; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093277
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract
Climate change and the land-use and land-cover changes (LULC) resulting from anthropic activity are important factors in the degradation of an ecosystem and in the availability of a basin’s water resources. To know how these activities affect the quantity of the water resources
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Climate change and the land-use and land-cover changes (LULC) resulting from anthropic activity are important factors in the degradation of an ecosystem and in the availability of a basin’s water resources. To know how these activities affect the quantity of the water resources of basins, such as the Segura River Basin, is of vital importance. In this work, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used for the study of the abovementioned impacts. The model was validated by obtaining a Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) of 0.88 and a percent bias (PBIAS) of 17.23%, indicating that SWAT accurately replicated monthly streamflow. Next, land-use maps for the years of 1956 and 2007 were used to establish a series of scenarios that allowed us to evaluate the effects of these activities on both joint and individual water resources. A reforestation plan applied in the basin during the 1970s caused that the forest area had almost doubled, whereas the agricultural areas and shrubland had been reduced by one-third. These modifications, together with the effect of climate change, have led to a decrease of 26.3% in the quantity of generated water resources, not only due to climate change but also due to the increase in forest area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Development of SWAT-Paddy for Simulating Lowland Paddy Fields
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3246; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093246
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 6 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
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Abstract
The recent increase in global consumption of rice has led to increased demand for sustainable water management in paddy cultivation. In this study, we propose an enhanced paddy simulation module to be introduced to Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to evaluate the
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The recent increase in global consumption of rice has led to increased demand for sustainable water management in paddy cultivation. In this study, we propose an enhanced paddy simulation module to be introduced to Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to evaluate the sustainability of paddy cultivation. The enhancements added to SWAT include: (1) modification of water balance calculation for impounded fields, (2) addition of an irrigation management option for paddy fields that are characterized by flood irrigation with target water depth, and (3) addition of a puddling operation that influences the water quality and infiltration rate of the top soil layer. In a case study, the enhanced model, entitled SWAT-Paddy, was applied to an agricultural watershed in Japan. The results showed that the SWAT-Paddy successfully represented paddy cultivation, water management, and discharge processes. Simulated daily discharge rates with SWAT-Paddy (R2 = 0.8) were superior to the SWAT result (R2 = 0.002). SWAT-Paddy allows the simulation of paddy management processes realistically, and thus can enhance model accuracy in paddy-dominant agricultural watersheds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Integrating Climate Forecasts with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) for High-Resolution Hydrologic Simulations and Forecasts in the Southeastern U.S.
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3079; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093079
Received: 25 July 2018 / Revised: 18 August 2018 / Accepted: 24 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
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Abstract
This study provides high-resolution modeling of daily water budget components at Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC)-12 resolution for 50 watersheds of the South Atlantic Gulf (SAG) region in the southeastern U.S. (SEUS) by implementing the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model in the
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This study provides high-resolution modeling of daily water budget components at Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC)-12 resolution for 50 watersheds of the South Atlantic Gulf (SAG) region in the southeastern U.S. (SEUS) by implementing the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model in the form of a near real-time, semi-automated framework. A near real-time hydrologic simulation framework is implemented with a lead time of nine months (March–December 2017) by integrating the calibrated SWAT model with National Centers for Environmental Prediction coupled forecast system model version 2 (CFSv2) weather data to forecast daily water balance components. The modeling exercise is conducted as a precursor for various future hydrologic studies (retrospective or forecasting) for the region by providing a calibrated hydrological dataset at high spatial (HUC-12) and temporal (1-day) resolution. The models are calibrated (January 2003–December 2010) and validated (January 2011–December 2013) for each watershed using the observed streamflow data from 50 United States Geological Survey (USGS) gauging stations. The water balance analysis for the region shows that the implemented models satisfactorily represent the hydrology of the region across different sub-regions (Appalachian highlands, plains, and coastal wetlands) and seasons. While CFSv2-driven SWAT models are able to provide reasonable performance in near real-time and can be used for decision making in the region, caution is advised for using model outputs as the streamflow forecasts display significant deviation from observed streamflow for all watersheds for lead times greater than a month. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Quantifying the Impacts of Climate Change on Streamflow Dynamics of Two Major Rivers of the Northern Lake Erie Basin in Canada
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2897; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082897
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 15 August 2018
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Abstract
This paper focuses on understanding the effects of projected climate change on streamflow dynamics of the Grand and Thames rivers of the Northern Lake Erie (NLE) basin. A soil water assessment tool (SWAT) model is developed, calibrated, and validated in a base-period. The
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This paper focuses on understanding the effects of projected climate change on streamflow dynamics of the Grand and Thames rivers of the Northern Lake Erie (NLE) basin. A soil water assessment tool (SWAT) model is developed, calibrated, and validated in a base-period. The model is able to simulate the monthly streamflow dynamics with ‘Good’ to ‘Very Good’ accuracy. The calibrated and validated model is then subjected with daily bias-corrected future climatic data from the Canadian Regional Climate Model (CanRCM4). Five bias-correction methods and their 12 combinations were evaluated using the Climate Model data for hydrologic modeling (CMhyd). Distribution mapping (DM) performed the best and was used for further analysis. Two future time-periods and two IPCC AR5 representative concentration pathways (RCPs) are considered. Results showed marked temporal and spatial variability in precipitation (−37% to +63%) and temperature (−3 °C to +14 °C) changes, which are reflected in evapotranspiration (−52% to +412%) and soil water storage (−60% to +12%) changes, resulting in heterogeneity in streamflow (−77% to +170%) changes. On average, increases in winter (+11%), and decreases in spring (–33%), summer (−23%), and autumn (−15%) streamflow are expected in future. This is the first work of this kind in the NLE and such marked variability in water resources availability poses considerable challenges to water resources planners and managers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Water Implications of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Effects on Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2367; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072367
Received: 10 June 2018 / Revised: 22 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 7 July 2018
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Abstract
This study addresses the water quantity and quality implications of greenhouse gas mitigation efforts in agriculture and forestry. This is done both through a literature review and a case study. The case study is set in the Missouri River Basin (MRB) and involves
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This study addresses the water quantity and quality implications of greenhouse gas mitigation efforts in agriculture and forestry. This is done both through a literature review and a case study. The case study is set in the Missouri River Basin (MRB) and involves integration of a water hydrology model and a land use model with an econometric model estimated to make the link. The hydrology model (Soil and Water Assessment Tool, SWAT) is used to generate a multiyear, multilocation dataset that gives estimated water quantity and quality measures dependent on land use. In turn, those data are used in estimating a quantile regression model linking water quantity and quality with climate and land use. Additionally, a land use model (Forest and Agricultural Sector Optimization Model with Greenhouse Gases, FASOMGHG) is used to simulate the extent of mitigation strategy adoption and land use implications under alternative carbon prices. Then, the land use results and climate change forecasts are input to the econometric model and water quantity/quality projections developed. The econometric results show that land use patterns have significant influences on water quantity. Specifically, an increase in grassland significantly decreases water quantity, with forestry having mixed effects. At relatively high quantiles, land use changes from cropped land to grassland reduce water yield, while switching from cropping or grassland to forest yields more water. It also shows that an increase in cropped land use significantly degrades water quality at the 50% quantile and moving from cropped land to either forest or pasture slightly improves water quality at the 50% quantile but significantly worsens water quality at the 90% quantile. In turn, a simulation exercise shows that water quantity slightly increases under mitigation activity stimulated by lower carbon prices but significantly decreases under higher carbon prices. For water quality, when carbon prices are low, water quality is degraded under most mitigation alternatives but quality improves under higher carbon prices. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Climate Change on Daily Streamflow and Its Extreme Values in Pacific Island Watersheds
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 2057; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10062057
Received: 14 May 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 17 June 2018
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Abstract
The integration of hydrology and climate is important for understanding the present and future impact of climate on streamflow, which may cause frequent flooding, droughts, and shortage of water supply. In view of this, we assessed the impact of climate change on daily
[...] Read more.
The integration of hydrology and climate is important for understanding the present and future impact of climate on streamflow, which may cause frequent flooding, droughts, and shortage of water supply. In view of this, we assessed the impact of climate change on daily streamflow duration curves as well as extreme peak and low flow values. The objectives were to assess how climate change impacts watershed-wide streamflow and its extreme values and to provide an overview of the impacts of different climate change scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5) on streamflow and hydrological extremes when compared with the baseline values. We used the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model for daily streamflow and its extreme value modeling of two watersheds located on the Island of Oahu (Hawaii). Following successful calibration and validation of SWAT at three USGS flow gauging stations, we simulated the impact of climate change by the 2050s (2041–2070) and the 2080s (2071–2100). We used climate change perturbation factors and applied the factors to the historical time series data of 1980–2014. SWAT adequately reproduced observed daily streamflow with Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) values of greater than 0.5 and bracketed >80% of observed streamflow data at 95% model prediction uncertainty at all flow gauging stations, indicating the applicability of the model for future daily streamflow prediction. We found that while the considered climate change scenarios generally show considerable negative impacts on daily streamflow and its extreme values, the extreme peak flows are expected to increase by as much as 22% especially under the RCP 8.5 scenario. However, a consistent decrease in extreme low flows by as much as 60% compared to the baseline values is projected. Larger negative changes of low flows are expected in the upstream part of the watersheds where higher groundwater contributions are expected. Consequently, severe problems, such as frequent hydrological droughts (groundwater scarcity), reduction in agricultural crop productivity, and increase in drinking water demand, are significantly expected on Oahu. Furthermore, the extreme values are more sensitive to rainfall change in comparison to temperature and solar radiation changes. Overall, findings generally indicated that climate change impacts will be amplified by the end of this century and may cause earlier occurrence of hydrological droughts when compared to the current hydrological regime, suggesting water resources managers, ecosystem conservationists, and ecologists to implement mitigation measures to climate change in Hawaii and similar Islands. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Optimisation of Multipurpose Reservoir Operation by Coupling Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and Genetic Algorithm for Optimal Operating Policy (Case Study: Ganga River Basin)
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1660; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051660
Received: 2 April 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1621 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reservoirs are recognized as one of the most efficient infrastructure components in integrated water resources management. At present, with the ongoing advancement of social economy and requirement of water, the water resources shortage problem has worsened, and the operation of reservoirs, in terms
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Reservoirs are recognized as one of the most efficient infrastructure components in integrated water resources management. At present, with the ongoing advancement of social economy and requirement of water, the water resources shortage problem has worsened, and the operation of reservoirs, in terms of consumption of flood water, has become significantly important. To achieve optimal reservoirs operating policies, a considerable amount of optimization and simulation models have been introduced in the course of recent years. Subsequently, the assessment and estimation that is associated with the operation of reservoir stays conventional. In the present study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) models and a Genetic Algorithm model has been employed to two reservoirs in Ganga River basin, India in order to obtain the optimal reservoir operational policies. The objective function has been added to reduce the yearly sum of squared deviation from preferred storage capacity and required release for the irrigation purpose. The rule curves that were estimated via random search have been discovered to be consistent with that of demand requests. Thus, in the present case study, on the basis of the generated result, it has been concluded that GA-derived optimal reservoir operation rules are competitive and promising, and can be efficiently used for the derivation of operation of the reservoir. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Diagnosis and Treatment of the SWAT Hydrological Response Using the Budyko Framework
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1373; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051373
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 21 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5624 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The hydrologic response of a river basin pertains to how precipitation is partitioned into streamflow, evapotranspiration, and infiltration. The reliability of all these components is essential for the sustainable use of water resources. This paper seeks to understand if the prediction of the
[...] Read more.
The hydrologic response of a river basin pertains to how precipitation is partitioned into streamflow, evapotranspiration, and infiltration. The reliability of all these components is essential for the sustainable use of water resources. This paper seeks to understand if the prediction of the main components of the water balance from the SWAT model can be controlled and interpreted by a simple Darwinian approach: the Budyko framework. The Danube Basin was selected to assess the SWAT model green (evapotranspiration) and blue water fluxes (water yield or water that runs off the landscape into rivers) in a diagnostic approach based on two mono-parametric Budyko curve-type equations. This analysis was conducted comparing the evaporative index (EI) and the base flow index (BFI) predicted by Budyko’s equations based on observed data from 418 gauging stations with those simulated by SWAT. The study demonstrated that SWAT evapotranspiration estimations were in good agreement with those of the Budyko curves, whereas SWAT baseflow underestimated the Inn and Austrian Danube regions. The analysis of the Budyko equations in each water management region of the Danube provided a pioneering understanding of the relationship between EI and BFI in the study area, leading to an improvement of the hydrological simulations and providing a more reliable water balance in each water management region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Calibration of a Field-Scale Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) Model with Field Placement of Best Management Practices in Alger Creek, Michigan
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 851; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030851
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (26933 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Subwatersheds within the Great Lakes “Priority Watersheds” were targeted by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to determine the effectiveness of the various best management practices (BMPs) from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service National Conservation Planning (NCP) Database. A Soil
[...] Read more.
Subwatersheds within the Great Lakes “Priority Watersheds” were targeted by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to determine the effectiveness of the various best management practices (BMPs) from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service National Conservation Planning (NCP) Database. A Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model is created for Alger Creek, a 50 km2 tributary watershed to the Saginaw River in Michigan. Monthly calibration yielded very good Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) ratings for flow, sediment, total phosphorus (TP), dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP), and total nitrogen (TN) (0.90, 0.79, 0.87, 0.88, and 0.77, respectively), and satisfactory NSE rating for nitrate (0.51). Two-year validation results in at least satisfactory NSE ratings for flow, sediment, TP, DRP, and TN (0.83, 0.54, 0.73, 0.53, and 0.60, respectively), and unsatisfactory NSE rating for nitrate (0.28). The model estimates the effect of BMPs at the field and watershed scales. At the field-scale, the most effective single practice at reducing sediment, TP, and DRP is no-tillage followed by cover crops (CC); CC are the most effective single practice at reducing nitrate. The most effective BMP combinations include filter strips, which can have a sizable effect on reducing sediment and phosphorus loads. At the watershed scale, model results indicate current NCP BMPs result in minimal sediment and nutrient reductions (<10%). Full article
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