Title

Effects of Brush Management on the Hydrologic Budget and Water Quality In and Adjacent to Honey Creek State Natural Area, Comal County, Texas, 2001–10

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Publisher

U.S. Geological Survey

Publication Date

January 2011

Abstract

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Edwards Region Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, the San Antonio River Authority, the Edwards Aquifer Authority, Texas Parks and Wildlife, the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority, and the San Antonio Water System, evaluated the hydrologic effects of ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei) removal as a brush management conservation practice in and adjacent to the Honey Creek State Natural Area in Comal County, Tex. By removing the ashe juniper and allowing native grasses to reestablish in the area as a brush management conservation practice, the hydrology in the watershed might change. Using a simplified mass balance approach of the hydrologic cycle, the incoming rainfall was distributed to surface water runoff, evapotranspiration, or groundwater recharge. After hydrologic data were collected in adjacent watersheds for 3 years, brush management occurred on the treatment watershed while the reference watershed was left in its original condition. Hydrologic data were collected for another 6 years. Hydrologic data include rainfall, streamflow, evapotranspiration, and water quality. Groundwater recharge was not directly measured but potential groundwater recharge was calculated using a simplified mass balance approach. The resulting hydrologic datasets were examined for differences between the watersheds and between pre- and post-treatment periods to assess the effects of brush management. The streamflow to rainfall relation (expressed as event unit runoff to event rainfall relation) did not change between the watersheds during pre- and post-treatment periods. The daily evapotranspiration rates at the reference watershed and treatment watershed sites exhibited a seasonal cycle during the pre- and post-treatment periods, with intra- and interannual variability. Statistical analyses indicate the mean difference in daily evapotranspiration rates between

Notes

Scientific Investigations Report, Vol. 2011, no. 5226 (2011-01-01).

Keywords

Water Conservation, Native Grasses, Hydrologic Data

Description

RDA

Subject: topical

Water Conservation; Native Grasses; Hydrologic Data

Type

Article

Genre

serial

Identifier

SFS0073443_00001

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