Nutrient and BMP Modeling set for Indian Creek and Little Sugar Creek Sub-watersheds

A two year project focusing on the Little Sugar and Indian Creek tributaries of the Elk River in southwest Missouri was presented by Dr. Verel Benson at the ERWIA’s October 21st board meeting. These two streams have been designated by Missouri Dept of Natural Resources as impaired for excess nutrients. The U.S. Geological Survey’s study “Water and Streambed-Sediment Quality in the Upper Elk River Basin 2004-06” found that Little Sugar sub-watershed contributes the largest load of phosphorus and sediment to the Elk River Watershed system. The USGS study also found that Indian Creek sub-watershed contributes the highest nitrogen load to the system. The sub-watershed assessments and watershed analyses includes a combination of SWAT/APEX modeling techniques used to examine nutrient loadings in both sub-watersheds. The APEX technique will quantify the phosphorus, nitrogen, sediment, carbon and manure loading reductions due to BMPs that address nutrient management, grazing systems, and changes in the location of water sources. Secondary data sources will be used to determine permitted discharges and find any results of water sampling efforts that addressed nutrients and sediment. This information will be combined with the APEX to identify total watershed loadings and stream bank stabilization practices. The project will then examine and analyze alternative targeted BMPs will be recommended and prioritized for the Little Sugar Creek and Indian Creek sub-watersheds and used for targeting BMP implementation. The information will be connected to the Internet-based mapping system on the erwia.org website to support watershed management planning and education outreach for stakeholders.