Integrated Hydrologic-Economic Optimization Modeling for Watershed Evaluation of Agricultural BMPs and Policies

dc.contributor.advisorYang, Wanhong
dc.contributor.authorOginskyy, Anatoliy of Geographyen_US of Guelphen_US of Philosophyen_US
dc.description.abstractThis study develops and applies integrated hydrologic-economic optimization modeling for evaluating costs effectiveness of beneficial management practices (BMPs) in agricultural watersheds. The study has three components. Firstly, it defines agriculture as a social-natural system, formulates the system functions, and develops theoretical and empirical frameworks for integrated hydrologic-economic modeling for evaluating BMP cost effectiveness and optimal placement in agricultural watersheds. The integrated modeling contributes to advancing the methodology for watershed-based BMP assessment and improving our understanding on spatial tradeoffs of BMP costs and benefits. Secondly, the study develops a user friendly interface for the integrated modeling as an open-source Whitebox GIS plug-in. The interface facilitates the use of the complex integrated modeling for conducting watershed-based BMP assessment by scientists and conservation managers. Finally, the study empirically applies the integrated modeling to produce new information on the cost effectiveness of representative agricultural BMPs including zero tillage, optimium fertilizer application rates, and red clover as a cover crop in the Gully Creek watershed of southwestern Ontario. The simulation results show that zero tillage reduces the sediment and nitrogen loads by 45% and 43%, respectively, costing the farmers about 2% of the net return. Applying the practice to corn sown after soybeans appears to be profitable. Application of the optimum fertilizer application rates, red clover as a cover crop BMPs, and multiple BMPs are cost-effective in reducing sediment and nutrient loads. Simulation of optimal BMP allocations in the watershed produces several cost-effective BMP policies subject to environmental targets. It also shows that the magnitude of BMP cost depends on the number of available BMP alternatives. The functional relationships between BMP costs and water quality benefits depend on the type of pollutant and the level of environmental target. A piecewise function with steep, moderate, and flat regions better describes the relationships and produces the highest fit. This finding extends our understanding of the BMP cost benefit relationships which are considered to be generally monotonic.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipOntario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs - Highly Qualified Personnel Scholarship
dc.publisherUniversity of Guelphen_US
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada*
dc.subjectIntegrated modelingen_US
dc.subjectBMP costen_US
dc.subjectBMP effectsen_US
dc.subjectcost-benefit ratioen_US
dc.subjectoptimal BMP allocationen_US
dc.subjectcost-benefit relationsen_US
dc.subjecttotal abatement costen_US
dc.subjectmarginal abatement costen_US
dc.subjectBMP evaluationen_US
dc.subjectsocial efficiencyen_US
dc.subjectcost efficiencyen_US
dc.subjectdynamic efficiencyen_US
dc.subjectBMP characterizationen_US
dc.subjectevaluation criteriaen_US
dc.subjectconceptual modelen_US
dc.subjectempirical modelen_US
dc.subjectcomputer modelen_US
dc.subjecteconomic effectsen_US
dc.subjecthydrologic effectsen_US
dc.subjectintegrated effectsen_US
dc.subjectmodel calibrationen_US
dc.subjectmodel validationen_US
dc.subjectintegrated assessmenten_US
dc.subjectconservation tillageen_US
dc.subjectnutrient managementen_US
dc.subjectcover cropen_US
dc.subjectBMP rankingen_US
dc.subjectPareto efficiencyen_US
dc.subjectKaldor-Hicks efficiencyen_US
dc.subjectcost minimizationen_US
dc.subjectcoupled systemen_US
dc.subjectholistic systemen_US
dc.subjectloose couplingen_US
dc.subjecttight couplingen_US
dc.subjectsurface runoffen_US
dc.subjectsediment yielden_US
dc.subjectnitrogen loaden_US
dc.subjectphosphorus loaden_US
dc.subjectmodel interfaceen_US
dc.titleIntegrated Hydrologic-Economic Optimization Modeling for Watershed Evaluation of Agricultural BMPs and Policiesen_US
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