SWAT Modeling

Green Lake is the deepest lake in Wisconsin and is a popular destination for tourism and recreation. However, poor water quality has become a big concern for the lake. When it rains, pollutants like sediment and phosphorous, run off watershed land and into streams that enter Green Lake. This runoff contributes to decreased water clarity, algal blooms, and unfavorable conditions for fish.

To reduce the contaminants entering into the lake, landowners and farmers have implemented best management practices (BMPs). Practices like planting cover crops and buffers, upgrading runoff control from livestock operations, and utilizing crop nutrient management have been widely used in the Green Lake watershed. Even though BMPs are able to improve water quality now (reducing phosphorous, nutrients, and sediment), the efficiency of BMPs in the future is still not clear, especially under the conditions of a changing climate. This research seeks to predict and assess the efficiency of BMPs in the future, under different scenarios in the Green Lake watershed. To do this, we utilize SWAT (Soil & Water Assessment Tool), a hydrologic transport model.