Water Resources Professional Project Reports

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Accurate prediction of sediment detachment, transport, and delivery from dirt-road networks is an expensive and time-consuming task. The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) soil erosion model allows users to predict road erosion based on specific characteristics including road length, width, and gradient. The approach can be applied to specific climate conditions, multiple road designs, and unique attribute information. The methodology was applied to roads in the upper Torreon Wash located in northwestern New Mexico. Main roads and access routes within the study area were evaluated to determine the estimated sediment delivery from unpaved roads. This study incorporates results from the WEPP model to determine the impact of erosion on the described area. The analysis was designed to identify areas of intense erosion as well as sediment delivery to stream systems, and included a case study to determine the effects of past remediation efforts. Collected data was stored and organized using geographic information systems to visualize the spatial component, a method that also provided effective data management, analysis, and mapping capabilities within a geographic environment. Remediation work consisted of 110 rolling dips that were installed on roads in the study area. Findings suggested that remediation efforts can reduce road erosion by 48%. Results also showed that, by reducing the sediment loads that stem from neighboring roads, remediation work had a positive impact on nearby streams. Overall, the remediation efforts have been successful at reducing erosion in the study area.

Language (ISO)



Rio Puerco Watershed, Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP), Rill erosion, National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), CLIGEN Weather Generator, Parameter Elevation Regression on Independent Slopes (PRISM)


A Professional Project Report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Water Resources, Water Resources Program, University of New Mexico.