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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Graphical Tool for Water Quality Conservation Planning 1718

Authors
item Heilman, Philip
item Armendariz, Gerardo
item Ma, Liwang
item Malone, Robert

Submitted to: International Soil Conservation Organization Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2004
Publication Date: July 4, 2004
Citation: Heilman, P., Armendariz, G.A., Ma, L., Malone, R.W. 2004. A graphical tool for water quality conservation planning. Proc. 13th Internat'l. Soil Conservation Org. Conf., Conserving Soil and Water for Soc.: Sharing Solutions, July 2004, Brisbane, Australia, 6 p.

Interpretive Summary: Information available to farmers describing the potential effects of management on both yields and water quality is usually a limiting, as available information is qualitative, not customized for the farmer's conditions, and often focused only on erosion. This paper describes an approach to supporting decision makers facing water quality problems by agricultural pollutants and illustrates the approach for an area in northeastern Iowa. Observed data from an intensively monitored research site near Nashua, Iowa with 36 one-acre tile-drained plots were used to parameterize the Root Zone Water Quality Model. Management system effects were simulated on crop yields, water and nitrogen budgets, and pesticide losses. These results were put into a database and an internet interface built to analyze the results. The interface presents a series of graphics to the conservationist and farmer showing how alternative management systems affect the agricultural system to reduce the quantity of agricultural pollutants leaving agricultural fields.

Technical Abstract: Improving the science used for conservation planning will ultimately require increased specialization in parameterizing simulation models. This paper describes an approach to graphically presenting simulation results once they have been populated in a database. Observed data from 36 one-acre tile-drained plots were used to parameterize the Root Zone Water Quality Model. Management system effects were simulated on crop yields, water and nitrogen budgets, and pesticide losses. These results were put into a database and an internet interface built to analyze the results. The interface presents a series of automatically created graphs showing how alternative management systems affect the agricultural system to reduce the quantity of agricultural pollutants leaving agricultural fields. Example plots showing observed and RZWQM simulated plots for yields, tile flow, nitrogen concentration in tile flow, and nitrogen loadings are presented.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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