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01-02-2012 | Issue 3/2012

Water Resources Management 3/2012

Runoff and Sediment Yield Modelling for a Treated Hilly Watershed in Eastern Himalaya Using the Water Erosion Prediction Project Model

Journal:
Water Resources Management > Issue 3/2012
Authors:
R. K. Singh, R. K. Panda, K. K. Satapathy, S. V. Ngachan

Abstract

The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) watershed model was calibrated and validated for a hilly watershed treated with graded bunding and water-harvesting tank in high rainfall condition of eastern Himalayan range in India. The performance of the model for the treated watershed was unacceptable with percent deviation of −45.81 and −38.35 respectively for runoff and sediment yield simulations when calibrated parameter values for the nearby untreated watershed were used. This was possibly due to differences in soil properties and average land slope. When soil parameters were calibrated for the treated watershed, the model performance improved remarkably. During calibration, the model simulated surface runoff and sediment yield with percent deviations equal to +6.24 and +9.02, and Nash–Sutcliffe simulation coefficients equal to 0.85 and 0.81, respectively. During validation period, the model simulated runoff and sediment yield with percent deviations equal to +8.56 and +9.36, and Nash–Sutcliffe simulation coefficients equal to 0.81 and 0.80, respectively. The model tended to slightly under-predict runoff and sediment yield of higher magnitudes. The model performance was quite sensitive to soil parameters namely, rill erodibility, interrill erodibility, hydraulic conductivity, critical shear stress and Manning’s roughness coefficient with varying levels. The WEPP model picked up the hydrology associated with bund and water-harvesting tank, and simulated runoff and sediment yield well with overall deviations within ±10% and Nash–Sutcliffe simulation coefficients >0.80. Simulation results indicate that in high slope and high rainfall conditions of eastern Himalayan region of India where vegetative measures are not adequate to restrict soil loss within the permissible limit, the WEPP model can be applied to formulate structure-based management strategies to control soil loss and to develop water resources.

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