Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2014TN106B

Recalibrating the SAGT SPARROW to Accommodate Changes in Agricultural Inputs

Institute: Tennessee
Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $15,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $30,009

Principal Investigators: Dayton Lambert, Christopher Boyer, Christopher Clark, John Schwartz

Abstract: The United States Geological Surveys SPAtially Referenced Regression on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) is a convenient model for forecasting the impacts land use has on water quality through changes in source and non-source point nutrient loading. SPARROW uses nonlinear regression to explain nutrient mass balance in watershed networks as a function of land use, pollution point sources, nutrient runoff from agriculture and urban activities, geophysical features, and climatic factors. Nutrient loading predictions are generated using the stream network configuration of basins. The SPARROW model has been used extensively to forecast changes in nutrient loading in the Mississippi and Tennessee River basins. Our research modifies the South Atlantic-Gulf-Tennessee (SAGT) basin system SPARROW model (developed by Hoos et al. and calibrated and applied by Hoos and McMahon) to examine the impacts land use change resulting from a mature cellulosic biofuel industry (including fiber and wood and forest residue feedstock) will have on water quality in this region. The challenge we face is updating the agricultural input use and forest land coverage data generously provided by the USGS to inform our counterfactual scenarios. The funding request will provide an opportunity to enhance the modeling capability of SPARROW for the SAGT basin.