WRAT has played a role in modeling projects for both the cropland and rangeland portions of the CEAP Watershed Studies.
The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) began in 2003 as a multi-agency effort to quantify the environmental benefits of conservation practices used by private landowners participating in selected U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conservation programs. One component of this project focused on assessment studies that include ARS Benchmark, Special Emphasis, and Competitive Grants watersheds. The watershed studies provide a framework for evaluating and improving performance of national assessment models.
The Leon River watershed was selected to address the specific resource concern for manure management for dairy operations. WRAT completed a modeling study of this watershed to examine the effects of conservation practices related to the application of dairy manure to agricultural areas in the watershed.
The purpose of the Cowhouse Creek rangeland study is to understand how specific conservation practices and suites of those practices affect overall watershed health at the watershed scale. WRAT is part of an interdisciplinary project team with Texas A&M and Texas AgriLife tasked with the study of this watershed.