Modeling effects of brush management on the rangeland water budget: Edwards Plateau, Texas Academic Article uri icon


  • The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to evaluate the influence of woody plants on water budgets of semi-arid rangelands in karst terrain. The model was configured for the hydrologic evaluation of the North Fork of the Upper Guadalupe River watershed and was calibrated and verified using measured flow data. Nash and Sutcliffe fit efficiencies for daily and monthly verification periods were 0.09 and 0.50, respectively. Streamflow, baseflow, and evapotranspiration (ET) rates were comparable to published field data. Simulated deep recharge was considerably higher than the published values for the Edwards Plateau. The model was then used to simulate conditions with existing brush cover and four different brush removal scenarios. Scenarios were created to represent existing brush and the removal of brush from only locations that were either covered by heavy brush, were on a moderate slope, or were in shallow soils. Resulting data was compared to previous studies of both field experiments and model simulations. Maximum brush removal resulted in a reduction in ET equal to 31.94 mm/yr depth over the entire basin, or 46.62 mm/yr depth over the treated area. Removal of heavy brush cover resulted in the greatest changes in evapotranspiration, surface runoff, baseflow, and deep recharge. Slope was found to have the greatest effect on lateral subsurface flow.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Afinowicz, J. D., Munster, C. L., & Wilcox, B. P.

citation count

  • 43

complete list of authors

  • Afinowicz, JD||Munster, CL||Wilcox, BP

publication date

  • January 2005