Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/17/2002
Publication Date: 11/11/2002
Citation: Endale, D.M., Cabrera, M.L., Schomberg, H.H., Steiner, J.L., Radcliffe, D.E. 2002. Challenges of an automated and integrated hydrologic monitoring and water quality sample collection system for research in non-point source pollution. American Society of Agronomy Meetings. p. 240.
Technical Abstract: Water quantity and quality monitoring serve to evaluate impact of natural and anthropogenic factors on the environment, and to support sound decision making for avoiding and/or amelioration of negative impacts in direct and defensible ways. Scientists at the USDA-ARS J. Phil Campbell Sr. Natural Resource Conservation Center, Watkinsville, GA, have been operating an automated system designed to measure rainfall, runoff and drainage, and collect water samples for chemical and biological analysis from cropping systems with contrasting tillage and fertilizer treatments spread over twelve 10 by 30 m plots. The setup has proven it could successfully accomplish the design goals except that sensor and equipment maintenance needs, and consequently disruption of the design functions, arising out of adverse environmental conditions and sensor malfunction have been challenging. It is very important for researchers to appreciate the potential problems hazards and limitations of automatic monitoring systems before investing large resources to install and run them.