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Hydrological modeling of the pipestone creek watershed using the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT): Assessing impacts of wetland drainage on hydrology

Perez-Valdivia, C., Cade-Menun, B., McMartin, D.W. (2017). Hydrological modeling of the pipestone creek watershed using the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT): Assessing impacts of wetland drainage on hydrology, 14 109-129. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrh.2017.10.004

Abstract

© 2017 Study region Prairie Pothole Region of North America. Study focus The Prairie Pothole Region of North America has experienced extensive wetland drainage, potentially impacting peak flows and annual flow volumes. Some of this drainage has occurred in closed basins, possibly impacting lake water levels of these systems. In this study we investigated the potential impact of wetland drainage on peak flows and annual volumes in a 2242 km2 watershed located in southeastern Saskatchewan (Canada) using the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. New hydrological insights The SWAT model, which had been calibrated and validated at daily and monthly time steps for the 1997–2009 period, was used to assess the impact of wetland drainage using three hypothetical scenarios that drained 15, 30, and 50% of the non-contributing drainage area. Results of these simulations suggested that drainage increased spring peak flows by about 50, 79 and 113%, respectively while annual flow volumes increased by about 43, 68, and 98% in each scenario. Years that were wetter than normal presented increased peak flows and annual flow volumes below the average of the simulated period. Alternatively, summer peak flows presented smaller increases in terms of percentages during the simulated period.

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