Using AnnAGNPS to Simulate Runoff, Nutrient, and Sediment Loads in an Agricultural Catchment with an On-Farm Water Storage System
On-farm water storage (OFWS) systems are best management practices that consist of a tailwater recovery (TWR) ditch used with a storage pond to provide irrigation water and improve downstream water quality. These systems have been increasingly implemented in the southeastern US, but the individual and cumulative effects of these systems on a watershed scale are unknown. In this study, the runoff, nutrient, and sediment loads entering a TWR ditch in an agricultural catchment were quantified, and
... ere quantified, and contributing sources were identified using the annualized agricultural non-point source (AnnAGNPS) model. Fields with larger areas and soils with a high runoff potential produced more runoff. The volume of runoff exceeded the TWR ditch storage volume approximately 110 times, mostly during the winter and spring seasons. During years when corn and winter wheat were planted, NO3–N loads increased because these crops need nitrogen fertilization to grow. Planting winter wheat in priority subwatersheds reduced the total phosphorous (TP) and sediment loads by about 19% and 13%, respectively, at the TWR ditch inlet. Planting winter wheat can reduce runoff, TP, and sediment loads but also result in higher NO3–N loads. AnnAGNPS simulations quantified the benefits of an OFWS system to advance the understanding of their impact on water availability and quality at a watershed scale.