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Discussion papers | Copyright
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Research article 09 Jul 2018

Research article | 09 Jul 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Reduction Evaluation and Management of Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollutant Loading in the Huntai River Watershed in Northeast China

YiCheng Fu, Wenqi Peng, Chengli Wang, Jinyong Zhao, and Chunling Zhang YiCheng Fu et al.
  • State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of River Basin Water Cycle, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research

Abstract. With the raise of environmental protection awareness, applying models to control NPS (non-point source) pollution has become a key approach for environmental protection and pollution prevention and control in China. In this study, we implanted the semi-conceptual model SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) using information on rainfall runoff, land use, soil and slope. The model was used to quantify the spatial loading of NPS nutrient total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) to the Huntai River Watershed (HTRW) under two scenarios: without and with projected buffer zones of approximately 1km within both banks of the Huntai, Taizi and Daliao river trunk streams and 5km around the reservoirs. Current land-use types within the buffer zone were varied to indicate the natural ecology and environment. The Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient (ENS) and R2 for flow and predicted nutrient concentrations (TN and TP) in a typical hydrological station were both greater than 0.6, and the relative deviation (|Dv|) was less than 20%. Under the status quo scenario (SQS), the simulated soil erosion in the HTRW per year was 811kg/ha, and the output loadings of TN and TP were 19 and 7kg/ha, respectively. The maximum loadings for TN and TP were 365 and 260kg/ha, respectively. Under environmental protection scenarios (EPS), the TN and TP pollutant loadings per unit area were reduced by 26% and 14% annually, respectively. Loading analysis showed that land-use type is a key factor controlling NPS pollution. The NPS pollutant loading decreased under the simulated EPS, indicating that environmental protection measures may reduce the NPS pollutant loading in HTRW. The 22% pollutant reduction under the EPS. We finally quantified the ratio of the land area lost to agricultural production compared with that lost to ecosystem services. We calculated the agricultural yield elasticity and concluded that the corresponding crop yield would be reduced by 2% when the land area for ecosystem services in the basin increased by 1% under the EPS.

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Short summary
The application of NBS models to control NPS pollution has become a very common practice for resource management and pollutant reduction control in the watershed scale of China. SWAT was used to assess the reduction of agricultural NPS pollutant loading. Buffer zone of land use type could reflect the natural environment. The 22 % pollutant reduction under the Environmental Protection Scenarios. Crop yield reduced by 2 % when ecosystem services increased by 1 % in Huntai River Watershed.
The application of NBS models to control NPS pollution has become a very common practice for...