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Annualized Agricultural Non-Point Source model application for Mississippi Delta Beasley Lake watershed conservation practices assessment

Yuan, Y., Locke, M.A., Bingner, R.L.
Journal of soil and water conservation 2008 v.63 no.6 pp. 542
nonpoint source pollution, agricultural watersheds, conservation practices, lakes, water quality, water pollution, agricultural runoff, sediment yield, soil erosion, simulation models, watershed hydrology, conservation programs, USDA, governmental programs and projects, Mississippi
The Annualized Agricultural Non-Point Source (AnnAGNPS) model has been developed to quantify watershed response to agricultural management practices. The objective of this study was to identify critical areas where conservation practices could be implemented and to predict their impact on Beasley Lake water quality in the Mississippi Delta using AnnAGNPS. Model evaluation was first performed by comparing the observed runoff and sediment from a US Geological Survey gauging station draining 7 ha (17 ac) of Beasley Lake watershed with the AnnAGNPS simulated runoff and sediment. The model demonstrated satisfactory capability in simulating runoff and sediment at an event scale. Without calibration, the Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient of efficiency was 0.81 for runoff and 0.54 for sediment; the relative error was 0.1 for runoff and 0.18 for sediment, and the Willmott index of agreement was 0.94 for runoff and 0.80 for sediment. The quantity of water and sediment produced from each field within the Beasley Lake watershed, quantity of water and sediment reaching Beasley Lake, and the potential impact of various USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service conservation programs on water quality were then simulated. High sediment-producing areas for nonpoint source pollution control were identified where sediment loads could be reduced by 15% to 77% using conservation practices. Simulations predicted that converting all cropland to no-till soybeans (Glycine max [L.] Merr.) would reduce sediment load by 77% whereas no-till cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) would reduce it 64%. The approach taken in this study could be used elsewhere in applying AnnAGNPS to ungauged watersheds or watersheds with limited field observations for conservation program planning or evaluation.