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A Modeling Approach for Evaluating Watershed-scale Water Quality Benefits of Vegetative Filter Strip - A Case Study in Ontario

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 35(3): 271-281. (doi: 10.13031/aea.13121) @2019
Authors:   Anand Krishna Gupta, Dr., Ramesh Pal Rudra, Dr., Bahram Gharabaghi, Dr., Pradeep Kumar Goel, Dr., Saleh Sebti, Rituraj Shukla, Dr., Prasad Daggupati, Dr.
Keywords:   Non-point source pollution, Sediment transport, Vegetative filter strip (VFS), VFSMOD.


. Vegetative filter strips (VFS) are globally recognized as an effective BMP in reducing non-point source pollution. Maximum effectiveness of a VFS at a watershed-level could be achieved by adequately installing and sizing a VFS along the edge of the field. Existing watershed models have limitations in appropriately representing and modeling VFS at the watershed scale. Therefore, in this research, a new modeling approach consisting of the Agricultural Non-Point Source (AGNPS) model, AGNPS_VFS toolkit, and a regression equation is developed to explore the effectiveness of VFS applied along the edge of fields. AGNPS cells are identified as locations where the edge of the field VFS is to be installed. Further, the approach was tested with a case study. The model was calibrated and validated for a flow and sediment load at the watershed outlet. Thereafter, the modeling approach is used to compute sediment reducing efficiency (SRE) for the edge of the field VFS. Objectives of this study were to test the effectiveness of uniform VFS (5 x 18 m) lengths located at several locations (draining an upstream area of 3, 4, 6 ha, and at spatially variable locations) within a watershed to demonstrate the ability of the developed approach to evaluate effectiveness of VFS application in sediment abatement. Maximum SRE was observed for VFS placed at spatially variable locations; the developed approach reduced nearly 23.03% of sediment yield, while VFS placed along cells draining an upstream area of 3, 4, and 6 ha removed 9.59%, 12.39%, and 5.91% of sediment loads respectively.

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