Optimizing the placement of best management practices (BMPs) in agriculturally-dominated watersheds in Illinois

Elias G. Bekele, Misganaw Demissie, Yanqing Lian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Excess sediment and nutrients including nitrogen and phosphorus are major causes of non-point source (NPS) pollution in rivers and streams draining agricultural watersheds. Research studies indicate that a significant proportion of NPS pollutants entering the Mississippi River comes from agricultural watersheds in the Midwest. Illinois watersheds are among those that contribute the highest nutrient flux to the Gulf of Mexico. Watershed Best Management practices (BMPs) could serve as crucial control measures in reducing NPS pollutants from agricultural watersheds and have been applied in many places in Upper Mississippi River basin. This paper presents a coupled optimization-watershed model designed to identify cost-effective placement of BMPs in watersheds that could result in maximized reduction of NPS pollutants such as sediment and nutrients. The coupled model is an interface between the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and the Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II (NSGA-II). The computational model was applied to Bray Creek and Frog Alley watersheds, which are tributary watersheds of the Mackinaw River in central Illinois. The BMP of choice to control sediment and nutrient loadings was constructed wetlands because there has been some practical experience in the study watersheds. Simulation results indicate the constructed wetlands appear to be more effective in reducing nutrient loads in both watersheds and the model was able to provide optimal tradeoffs between pollutant reduction and placement cost of constructed wetlands in the watersheds. The coupled model can assist as a decision support tool in prioritizing and targeting areas for BMP placement in the watersheds, resulting in an optimal reduction of pollutants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2011
Subtitle of host publicationBearing Knowledge for Sustainability - Proceedings of the 2011 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress
Pages2890-2900
Number of pages11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
EventWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2011: Bearing Knowledge for Sustainability - Palm Springs, CA, United States
Duration: May 22 2011May 26 2011

Publication series

NameWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2011: Bearing Knowledge for Sustainability - Proceedings of the 2011 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress

Other

OtherWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2011: Bearing Knowledge for Sustainability
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPalm Springs, CA
Period5/22/115/26/11

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Best Management Practice
  • Illinois
  • Optimization
  • Watersheds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Optimizing the placement of best management practices (BMPs) in agriculturally-dominated watersheds in Illinois'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this