Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/hess-2017-88
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
24 Feb 2017
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Assessment of Integrated Watershed Health based on Natural Environment, Hydrology, Water Quality, and Aquatic Ecology
So Ra Ahn1 and Seong Joon Kim2 1Assistant Research Scientist (Ahn), Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center at El Paso, Texas 79927, USA
2Professor (Kim), Department of Civil and Environmental System Engineering, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, South Korea
Abstract. Watershed health, including the natural environment, hydrology, water quality, and aquatic ecology, was assessed for the Han River basin (34 148 km2) in South Korea using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). The evaluation procedures followed those of the Healthy Watersheds Assessment by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To evaluate watershed health (basin natural capacity), 6 components of the watershed landscape were examined: stream geomorphology, hydrology, water quality, aquatic habitat condition, and biological condition. In particular, for the hydrology and water quality components, the SWAT was applied for the study basin with 237 sub-watersheds (within a standard watershed on the Korea Hydrologic Unit Map) and including three multipurpose dams, one hydroelectric dam, and three multifunction weirs. The SWAT was calibrated (2005–2009) and validated (2010–2014) using each dam and weir operation, the flux tower evapotranspiration, TDR soil moisture, and groundwater level data for the hydrology assessment and using sediment, total phosphorus, and total nitrogen data for the water quality assessment. The water balance considering the surface–groundwater interactions and the variation in stream water quality were quantified according to the sub-watershed-scale relationship between the watershed hydrologic cycle and stream water quality. We assessed the integrated watershed health according to the U.S. EPA evaluation process based on the vulnerability levels of the natural environment, water resources, water quality, and ecosystem components. The results suggest that approaches aimed at simultaneously improving the water quality, hydrology, and aquatic ecology conditions may be necessary to improve integrated watershed health.

Citation: Ahn, S. R. and Kim, S. J.: Assessment of Integrated Watershed Health based on Natural Environment, Hydrology, Water Quality, and Aquatic Ecology, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/hess-2017-88, in review, 2017.
So Ra Ahn and Seong Joon Kim
So Ra Ahn and Seong Joon Kim
So Ra Ahn and Seong Joon Kim

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Short summary
The Korea government have been trying to created and tasked with implementing programs designed to repair the damage already done to the environment in the Han River basin. However, there was absence of integrated approach method for considering water supply, water quality improvement, and natural ecosystem maintenance. The objective of this study is to conduct integrated watershed health assessment on natural environment, hydrology, water quality, and aquatic ecology of the Han River basin.
The Korea government have been trying to created and tasked with implementing programs designed...
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