TABLE 5.1 Selected Hydrologic Models Used in Watershed Management

AGNPS - Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution Model. (Young et al., 1989)

The model was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. The primary emphasis of the model is on nutrients, soil erosion, and sediment yield for comparing the effects of various best management practices on agricultural pollutant loadings. The AGNPS model can simulate sediment and nutrients loads from agricultural watersheds for a single storm event or for a continuous simulation. The watershed must be divided into a uniform grid (square cells). The cells are grouped by dividing the basin into subwatersheds. However, water flow and pollutant routing is accomplished by a function of the unit hydrograph type, which is a lumped parameter approach. The model does not simulate pesticides.

AGNPS is also capable of simulating point inputs such as feedlots, wastewater discharges, and stream bank and gully erosion. In the model, pollutants are routed from the top of the watershed to the watershed outlet in a series of steps. The modified universal soil erosion equation is used for predicting soil loss in five different particle sizes (clay, silt, sand, small aggregates, and large aggregates). The pollutant transport portion is subdivided into one part handling soluble pollutants and another part handling sediment absorbed pollutants. The input data requirements are extensive, but most of the data can be retrieved from topographic and soil maps, local meteorological information, field observations, and various publications, tables, and graphs provided in the user manual or references.

ANSWERS — Areal, Nonpoint Source Watershed Environment Response Simulation. (Beasley and Huggings, 1981)

The model was developed by the Agricultural Engineering Department of Purdue University. It is a distributed parameter model designed to simulate rainfall-runoff events. Currently the model is maintained and distributed by the Agricultural Engineering Department, University of Georgia, Tifton, Georgia. To use the ANSWERS model, the watershed is divided into a uniform grid (square elements). The element may range from one to four hectares. Within each element the model simulates the processes of interception, infiltration, surface storage, surface flow, subsurface drainage, sediment detachment, and movement across the element. The output from one element then becomes a source of input to an adjacent element. Nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) are simulated using correlation relationships between chemical concentrations, sediment yield, and runoff volume. Snowmelt or pesticides movement cannot be simulated. A single storm rainfall hyetograph drives the model.

BASINS — Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources. (Lahlou et al., 1996)

This model is a multipurpose environmental analysis system for use by regional, state, and local agencies in performing watershed and water quality based studies. It was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address three objectives:

  1. To facilitate examination of environmental information
  2. To support analysis of environmental systems
  3. To provide a framework for examining management alternatives


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