Twin Cities WRS Seminar

Comparison of Watershed Modeling Tools to Develop an Effective Decision Support Framework


Srinivas Rallapalli
Visiting Scholar

October 11, 2019


Identification of targeted locations at field scales for implementing conservation practices in an agricultural watershed has become a prerequisite to sustainable land use management. Understanding how to relate multiple fields and riparian zones at the small watershed scale is critical to managing water quality goals. We compared the outcomes of three models/decision support tools in the Plum Creek watershed near Redwood Falls, Minnesota. Prioritize, Target and Measure Application (PTMApp) and Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF) were applied to a HUC 12 sub-watershed scale using high-resolution LiDAR-based hydro-conditioned digital elevation model (DEM) to achieve following objectives: 1) develop comparative assessment of these tools in identifying critical areas and conservation practices at field scales; and 2)  develop a scenario based field-scale decision support framework to achieve nutrient reduction goals, build soil health for enhancing crop production within and below the fields and riparian management in a cost-effective manner. Further Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN-Scenario Application Manager (HSPF-SAM) model has been used to develop cost-effective scenarios for optimal placement of best management practices (BMPs). Results suggest that ingesting ACPF outcomes into PTMApp coupled with HSPF-SAM analysis would provide an emphatic decision support framework to the local watershed practitioners for identifying a mix of economic management practices at targeted sites to reach sustainability goals.