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Keywords:

  • best management practices;
  • climate variability/change;
  • sensitivity analysis;
  • modeling;
  • SWAT

Woznicki, Sean A. and A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi, 2011. Sensitivity Analysis of Best Management Practices Under Climate Change Scenarios. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 48(1): 90-112. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00598.x

Abstract:  Understanding the sensitivity of best management practices (BMPs) implementation as climate changes will be important for water resources management. The objective of this study was to determine how the sensitivity of BMPs performance vary due to changes in precipitation, temperature, and CO2 using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool. Sediment, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus loads on an annual and monthly basis were estimated before and after implementation of eight agricultural BMPs for different climate scenarios. Downscaled climate change data were obtained from the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate System Model for the Tuttle Creek Lake watershed in Kansas and Nebraska. Using a relative sensitivity index, native grass, grazing management, and filter strips were determined to be the most sensitive for all climate change scenarios, whereas porous gully plugs, no-tillage, and conservation tillage were the least sensitive on an annual basis. The monthly sensitivity analysis revealed that BMP sensitivity varies largely on a seasonal basis for all climate change scenarios. The results of this research suggest that the majority of agricultural BMPs tested in this study are significantly sensitive to climate change. Therefore, caution should be exercised in the decision-making processes.