story to find out more.
Cobb Creek and its tributaries
flow through an agricultural landscape into the Fort Cobb Reservoir.
Land-management, hydrologic and climate data from the Fort Cobb Reservoir
Experimental Watershed are being uploaded into the Web-based data system called
STEWARDS. Click the image for more information about
Web-Based System Tracks Watersheds' "Vital
Signs" By Luis
Pons August 28, 2006
Imagine having Internet access to the vital signs of key watersheds.
Thats one of the benefits of an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) water resource management program, now
being expanded, that offers information on climate, water and soil, as well as
on the effectiveness of conservation and management practices.
This web-based system, called STEWARDS (for "Sustaining
the Earths Watersheds: Agricultural Research Data System"), was developed
by ARS researchers, data managers and information- technology staff. It will be
demonstrated in October at an international conference in Kansas City, Mo., on
managing agricultural landscapes.
The system is part of the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP), a Farm
Bill-driven initiative to measure the environmental effects and benefits of
U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation
Steiner and hydrologist
Chen at the ARS
Research Laboratory in El Reno, Okla., spearheaded the STEWARDS program in
collaboration with soil scientist
Sadler of the ARS
Systems and Water Quality Research Unit in Columbia, Mo.
According to Steiner, STEWARDS can benefit researchers involved with
CEAP as well as resource managers, students, other scientists and the general
public who are interested in water quality and quantity in their local
The system integrates information from 16 watersheds from across the
country that are part of the ARS Watershed Assessment Study. It will represent
a big change in how ARS handles watershed research data.
According to Steiner, data collected in USDA and ARS watershed
research since early in the 20th century have been used to address
region-specific studies and disseminated independently at each research
location. STEWARDS will bring together information from all these watershed
studies to address national issues concerning water quality and water
about this research and other ARS projects related to a healthy environment in
the August 2006 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.
ARS is the USDA's chief scientific research agency.