Watershed modeling systems are a critical component of efforts to support and maintain military readiness and the sustainability of DoD testing and training lands. A recently completed ESTCP effort supported the demonstration and validation of the Better Assessment Science Integrating point and Non-point Sources (BASINS) Modeling System. The project fully demonstrates the validity of the technology to meet the DoD’s need for tools to evaluate watershed hydrology and water quality for system-level assessments. The demonstrations took place at Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort AP Hill in Virginia.

Location of US Geological Survey Gage Sites Within the Upatoi Creek Watershed Near Fort Benning.

The BASINS Modeling System is a geographic information system-based system and features an interface for different dynamic watershed models, as well as numerous pre- and post-processing tools that are shared by the models. Two types of enhancements, which used the Hydrological Simulation Program – FORTRAN (HSPF) as the primary modeling code, were developed through a previous SERDP project for the BASINS Modeling System for military-specific applications: (1) data and methodologies that address key military land stressors or managed disturbances (i.e., urban encroachment, prescribed burning, timber harvesting, military training, and unpaved roads), and (2) software refinements related to model linkages and algorithms.

The technology transfer of BASINS.MIL demonstration and validation leveraged the watershed model developed on Fort Benning. By conducting further modeling applications on Fort Benning, and by developing a watershed model for Fort AP Hill, the project further demonstrated the technology. Fort AP Hill (FAPH), Virginia was selected as the second site because it provided a unique opportunity to demonstrate the transferability of the BASINS.MIL modeling framework to a new installation and demonstrate the ability of BASINS.MIL to address Total Maximum Daily Load issues.

The successful demonstration and validation of the military enhanced BASINS.MIL at Fort Benning and AP Hill validates the ability to transfer the technology to other installations across DoD in a cost-efficient manner. Final project reports are now available on the SERDP & ESTCP website.