Soil erosion and water runoff drive water quality degradation and are liabilities to crop production, yet their magnitude is neither quantified nor inventoried for US agricultural areas. This project’s goals are to: (1) estimate soil erosion and surface runoff across the Upper Midwest as contributors to soil and water degradation and (2) inventory these quantities for the next several years.
The newly released Daily Erosion Project (DEP) gives daily estimates of water runoff and sheet and rill erosion for each of Iowa’s 1,647 HUC 12 agricultural watersheds (HUC 12 average area is approximately 35 square miles). For each watershed, water runoff and soil erosion is recorded over time, allowing for a spatial and temporal inventory of runoff and soil erosion for identification of soil degraded areas as well as water quality impairment source areas. These estimates are made publicly available on a daily basis from an open access interactive website.This data, as well as all input data, is publicly available through this website. We are currently in the process of expanding the use of this tool from Iowa only to other states in the Midwest. This includes all or parts of Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. Results for Iowa will be exemplified as work in Wisconsin is not yet complete.