Expert Systems for Drought Management: A Case Study

by Richard N. Palmer, Univ of Washington, United States,
K. John Holmes, Univ of Washington, United States,
Rosemary Menard, Univ of Washington, United States,
David Parkinson, Univ of Washington, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Critical Water Issues and Computer Applications


This paper describes the development and application of a computer model used by the Seattle Water Department (SWD) for operations during drought. This model provides guidance for initiating voluntary and mandatory water-use restrictions. The model uses an expert system to integrate several programming techniques including linear programming, database management system, and computer graphics. The model is mathematically complex yet highly user-friendly. It incorporates both subjective and quantitative information. Heuristic knowledge obtained from managers of the water supply system provides the foundation for the expert system. This paper begins with a brief introduction to expert systems and next describes the Seattle water supply system, including the drought of 1987. The remainder of the paper discusses the development and application of the integrated computer software used for drought management.

Subject Headings: Expert systems | Systems management | Case studies | Computer models | Droughts | Water supply systems | Water shortage | Computer programming | Seattle | Washington | United States

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