A Decision Support System for Water Quality Modeling

by D. S. Yakowitz, USDA-ARS Southwest Watershed, Research Cent, Tucson, United States,
L. J. Lane, USDA-ARS Southwest Watershed, Research Cent, Tucson, United States,
J. J. Stone, USDA-ARS Southwest Watershed, Research Cent, Tucson, United States,
P. Heilman, USDA-ARS Southwest Watershed, Research Cent, Tucson, United States,
R. K. Reddy, USDA-ARS Southwest Watershed, Research Cent, Tucson, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management: Saving a Threatened Resource—In Search of Solutions

Abstract: A prototype Decision Support System (DSS) has been developed to evaluate the environmental and economic consequences of alternative farming practices. This system was developed to help protect our Nation's groundwaters and surface waters from potential contamination by fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture. The DSS, with an embedded computer simulation model, ranks the feasible management practices using multiobjective decision theory. The method we have developed combines the use of graphically based scoring functions and some simple, yet powerful, linear programs to rank the alternative practices. This ranking is achieved in an objective manner under the guidelines of the decision maker. An example examining alternatives for a field near Tifton, Ga. illustrating the use of the system is presented. The prototype DSS is undergoing testing using data from several watersheds in the Deep Loess Soil Major Land Resource Area near Treynor, Iowa.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Decision support systems | Hydrologic models | Computer models | Agricultural wastes | Irrigation water | Agriculture | Watersheds | Surface water | Iowa

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