Modelling catchment management impact on in-stream phosphorus loads in northern Victoria

Article


Vigiak, O., Rattray, D., McInnes, J., Newham, L. T. H. and Roberts, A. M.. 2012. "Modelling catchment management impact on in-stream phosphorus loads in northern Victoria ." Journal of Environmental Management. 110, pp. 215-225. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.06.013
Article Title

Modelling catchment management impact on in-stream phosphorus loads in northern Victoria

ERA Journal ID5850
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsVigiak, O. (Author), Rattray, D. (Author), McInnes, J. (Author), Newham, L. T. H. (Author) and Roberts, A. M. (Author)
Journal TitleJournal of Environmental Management
Journal Citation110, pp. 215-225
Number of Pages11
Year2012
PublisherElsevier
Place of PublicationLondon, United Kingdom
ISSN0301-4797
1093-0191
1095-8630
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.06.013
Web Address (URL)http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479712003283
Abstract

Phosphorus pollution severely impairs the water quality of rivers in Australia and worldwide. Conceptual models have proved useful to assess management impact on phosphorus loads, particularly in data-sparse environments. This paper develops and evaluates the coupling of a point-scale model (HowLeaky2008) to a catchment scale model (CatchMODS) to enhance modelling of farm management impacts on in-stream phosphorus loads. The model was tested in two adjacent catchments in northern Victoria (Avon-Richardson and Avoca), Australia. After calibration of the in-stream attenuation parameter against measurements at gauging stations, the model simulated specific annual phosphorus loads across the catchments well (Nash-Sutcliffe model efficiency of 0.52 in the Avon-Richardson and 0.83 for the Avoca catchment). Phosphorus loads at both catchment outlets under current conditions were estimated at 7 t y -1 and were dominated by field exports. Changes to farm management practices, i.e. the use of perennial pastures in grazing systems and zero-tillage in cropping systems were estimated to reduce phosphorus load by 31% in the Avon-Richardson catchment and 19% in the Avoca catchment, relative to current practices (annual pasture and minimum tillage). The model afforded a major improvement in conceptual modelling by explicit simulation of the impacts of soil and climatic conditions on field-scale exports and by placing them in the context of landscape processes.

KeywordsCatchMODS; Howleaky; in-stream attenuation; phosphorus model; south-east Australia
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020300203. Agricultural land planning
401199. Environmental engineering not elsewhere classified
370704. Surface water hydrology
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Byline AffiliationsDepartment of Primary Industries, Victoria
Tree Crop Technologies, Australia
Australian National University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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