This paper describes a demonstration application of comprehensive hydrology and water quality modeling on a large river basin to evaluate the effects of agricultural nonpoint pollution and proposed best management practices (BMP). The model application combines detailed simulation of agricultural runoff and soil processes, including calculation of surface and subsurface pollutant transport to receiving water, with subsequent simulation of instream transport and transformation. The result is a comprehensive simulation of river basin water quality.

The investigation of the Iowa River Basin described in this paper was part of a large study which included application and evaluation of the Hydrological Simulation Program - FORTRAN (HSPF) to both the data-intensive Four Mile Creek watershed and the Iowa River above Coralville Reservoir. In this study, the methodology developed on Four Mile Creek was extrapolated to the Iowa River Basin to demonstrate its applicability and functionality on a large river basin. Many model parameter values from Four Mile Creek were applied directly to the study area without adjustment while other parameters were modified based on available information and calibration. This study allowed the exploration of problems associated with modeling hydrology, sediment, and chemical fate and transport in a large river basin with varying meteorologic conditions, soils, and agricultural practices.

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