SWAT Literature Database for Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Title:Water Security Assessment of the Grand River Watershed in Southwestern Ontario, Canada 
Authors:Baljeet, K., N.K. Shrestha, P. Daggupati, R. Rudra, P.K. Goel, R. Shukla and N. Allataifeh 
Article ID:1883 
URL (non-DOI journals): 
Broad Application Category:hydrologic only 
Primary Application Category:blue/green water or crop water productivity 
Secondary Application Category:hydrologic assessment 
Watershed Description:The Grand River watershed (GRW) is one of the largest watersheds in southwestern Ontario, Canada. The Grand River starts from the headwaters in the Dundalk Highlands and drains into Lake Erie from the outlet at Port Maitland. Along its 310 km-long route it picks up its major tributaries: the Conestoga, the Nith, the Eramosa, and the Speed Rivers. The major areas in the GRW are comprised of agriculture (43%), followed by pastures and range-grasses (26.92%), forests (12%), small fragments of urban areas (9.29%), and wetlands (1.8%). The weather in the GRW is moderate to cool-temperate (average annual precipitation ranging between 800–900 mm and temperature between 8–10 °C), and the watershed experiences four main seasons including winter, which is cool and dry, and summer, which is hot and humid. If the winter is warm then the watershed will experience moderate spring flow, and if it is cold, then the spring flow could be high enough to cause floods in the downstream areas, as evidenced in Brantford in 2018. The Brantford floods were the worst floods that the area had experienced in the last decade, which caused around 4900 residents to move from their homes to safer places. 
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Abstract:Water security is the capability of a community to have adequate access to good quality and a sufficient quantity of water as well as safeguard resources for the future generations. Understanding the spatial and temporal variabilities of water security can play a pivotal role in sustainable management of fresh water resources. In this study, a long-term water security analysis of the Grand River watershed (GRW), Ontario, Canada, was carried out using the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT). Analyses on blue and green water availability and water security were carried out by dividing the GRW into eight drainage zones. As such, both anthropogenic as well as environmental demand were considered. In particular, while calculating blue water scarcity, three different methods were used in determining the environmental flow requirement, namely, the presumptive standards method, the modified low stream-flow method, and the variable monthly flow method. Model results showed that the SWAT model could simulate streamflow dynamics of the GRW with ‘good’ to ‘very good’ accuracy with an average Nash–Sutcliffe Efficiency of 0.75, R2 value of 0.78, and percentage of bias (PBIAS) of 8.23%. Sen’s slope calculated using data from over 60 years confirmed that the blue water flow, green water flow, and storage had increasing trends. The presumptive standards method and the modified low stream-flow method, respectively, were found to be the most and least restrictive method in calculating environmental flow requirements. While both green (0.4–1.1) and blue (0.25–2.0) water scarcity values showed marked temporal and spatial variabilities, blue water scarcity was found to be the highest in urban areas on account of higher water usage and less blue water availability. Similarly, green water scarcity was found to be highest in zones with higher temperatures and intensive agricultural practices. We believe that knowledge of the green and blue water security situation would be helpful in sustainable water resources management of the GRW and help to identify hotspots that need immediate attention. 
Keywords:water security; blue water; green water; Grand River watershed; soil and water assessment tool (SWAT)