SWAT Literature Database for Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Title:Paying for sediment: Field-scale conservation practice targeting, funding, and assessment using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool 
Authors:Douglas-Mankin, K.R., P. Daggupati, A.Y. Sheshukov and P.L. Barnes 
Journal:Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 
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URL (non-DOI journals): 
Broad Application Category:hydrologic & pollutant 
Primary Application Category:BMP assessment 
Secondary Application Category:sediment loss and transport 
Watershed Description:78.09 km^2 Black Kettle Creek in south central Kansas, U.S. 
Calibration Summary: 
Validation Summary: 
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Abstract:Watershed models have been widely used to estimate soil erosion and evaluate the effectiveness of conservation practices at different temporal and spatial scales; however, little progress has been made in applying these theoretical model results to the practical challenge of allocating conservation practice funding to meet specific soil loss objectives. Black Kettle Creek subwatershed (7,809 ha [19,295 ac]) of Little Arkansas River Watershed (360,000 ha [889,579 ac]) in south central Kansas was the focus of an innovative project to target conservation practice funding and pay directly for modeled sediment reduction. Detailed data (10 m [33 ft] digital elevation model topography, Soil Survey Geographic database soils, and a manually developed land use/land cover layer) were input into the Soil and Water Assessment Tool model, and the calibrated model was used to quantify soil erosion for each field. Effectiveness of locally relevant best management practices (BMPs) was simulated for each field. The simulated field-scale effectiveness for implemented BMPs ranged from 9% to 83% for single BMPs and 67% to 100% for selected combinations of BMPs. An in-field signup sheet was developed with field-specific sediment loss–based payments calculated for each BMP option. BMP implementation was 16.7% of cropland area prior (preinstalled BMPs) to the project, and 30.6% of cropland area (postinstalled BMPs) was added due to project-funded implementation. Postinstalled BMP implementation (47.3% of cropland) resulted in 35.8% sediment yield reduction compared to the no-BMPs scenario and 21.9% reduction compared to preinstalled BMP conditions, which was better than initially projected for this project. Inclusion of nontargeted fields and less-than-optimal BMPs had no influence on achieving soil loss objectives because payments were based on implemented soil loss rather than implemented area. Targeting of conservation practices based on payments scaled directly by project outcome (in this case, dollars per ton of sediment reduction) using a modeling approach allowed flexibility for both adopters (farmers) and funders (project staff) while assuring the project objective (i.e., sediment reduction) was met. 
Keywords:best management practices, critical source areas, sediment yields, watershed modeling