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Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT)

We implemented the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to simulate water quantity and quality for the Arkansas-White-Red (AWR) river basin. We used the 2009 Cropland Data Layer (CDL-2009) (USDA-NASS, 2009) to represent the baseline (i.e., Scenario Base) land use/land cover. The SWAT model was calibrated and validated under Scenario Base (refer to Baskaran et al. (2010) for details). We further applied SWAT to project water quantity and quality under Scenario BC1 by replacing the baseline land cover with corresponding future land cover. This protocol created a total of 11225 and 15437 distinct HRUs in 173 subbasins under Scenario Base and BC1, respectively (see Baskaran et al. (2016) and Jager et al. (2015) for more information on SWAT model setup for AWR). We used the scenario BC1 to evaluate the water quality responses of allocating conservation practices across future landscapes in the AWR for the chapter "Water Quality Responses to Simulated Management Practices on Agricultural Lands" in the Billion Ton 2016 effort (Jager et al. 2017) (…).

1. GIS data:
1.1 River basin boundaries, subbasin boundaries, and stream network data:;
1.2 Baseline land cover based on the 2009 Cropland Data Layer (CDL):
1.3 2030 land cover based on BC1 scenario:
1.4 Additional data (e.g., DEM) can be obtained by contacting the author at

2. SWAT input files for 2 landuse scenarios
2.1. Baseline scenario. SWAT project database with information on all input files for Scenario Base :
2.2. BC1 scenario. SWAT project database with information on all input files for BC1 scenario:

Baskaran, L.M., H.I. Jager, P. E. Schweizer, R. Srinivasan. 2010. Progress toward evaluating the sustainability of switchgrass production at a regional scale. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers 53(5): 1547-1556
Baskaran, L.M., H.I. Jager, A. Turhollow, and R. Srinivasan. 2016. Understanding shifts in agricultural landscapes: context matters when simulating future changes in water quantity and quality. ORNL/TM-2013/531.
Jager, HI, LM Baskaran, PE Schweizer, A Turhollow, CC Brandt, and R Srinivasan. 2015. Forecasting changes in water quality in rivers associated with growing biofuels in the Arkansas-White-Red river drainage, USA. Global Change Biology: Bioenergy. 7(4): 774-784.
Jager, H. I., M. Wu, Ha, L. Baskaran and J. Krieg. 2017. Water Quality Responses to Simulated Management Practices on Agricultural Lands Producing Biomass Feedstocks in Two Tributary Basins of the Mississippi River, in R.A. Efroymson et al. eds., 2016 Billion-Ton Report: Advancing Domestic Resources for a Thriving Bioeconomy, Volume 2: Environmental Sustainability Effects of Select Scenarios from Volume 1. ORNL/TM-2016/727. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, pp.140-182. DOI: 10.2172/1338837
USDA-NASS. 2009. “Published crop-specific data layer”. Available online at Last accessed October 2nd 2017.

Publication Date
Project Title
Forecast Water Quality and Biodiversity
Contact Email
Contact Person
Latha Baskaran
Contact Organization
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Bioenergy Category
WBS Project Number
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.
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