Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP)
We have successfully implemented conservation practices in Kansas for many years. Only recently have we become interested in measuring the effectiveness of these practices on a watershed level. I am part of a team assessing the impacts of conservation practices Cheney Lake Watershed, located in south central Kansas.
Citizens in this watershed have focused much attention and monies to implementing conservation practices in the watershed to protect lake water quality. This interdisciplinary project is using a combination of data sources from field monitoring, computer modeling, producer interviews, and historical data coupled with statistical, spatial, economic, and social analysis to determine the effectiveness of conservation practices.
Determining the Sources of Sediment in Kansas Reservoirs/Lakes
Kansas reservoirs and lakes are important drinking water sources for many Kansas residents. Unfortunately, the reservoirs/lakes are filling up with sediment. A Kansas Sediment Baseline Team has been studying the issue for several years and developed a sediment baseline research strategy.
As part of the strategy, I have a project that is studying the impact of land management on sediment delivery to the reservoirs. This project is using a combination of GIS and GPS, land surveys and analysis, and watershed modeling to evaluate land use/land management.
Targeting Conservation Practices Using an Innovative Implementation Program
This is a project funded with a National Conservation Innovation Grant from NRCS. In this project located in the Little Arkansas River Watershed in central Kansas, we are doing a field by field assessment of current management practices (tillage practices, conservation structures, crop rotations, etc.). Then we will use the SWAT model to do a field by field assessment of current erosion and sediment delivery to surface waters in the target watershed.
Using that information landowners/operators will have the option of voluntarily implementing additional practices to reduce erosion and sediment delivery. Incentive payments will be provided based on the level of erosion/sediment delivery they are willing to achieve. Project success will be evaluated by both surface water monitoring and by modeling.