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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Duan, Y.
item Heilman, Philip - Phil
item Guertin, D.

Submitted to: Environmental Modelling & Software
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2006
Publication Date: 6/15/2006
Citation: Duan, Y., Heilman, P., Guertin, D.P. 2006. A web-based tool for economic analysis of sediment control on rangeland watersheds. In: Voinov, A., Jakeman, A., Rizzoli, A. (eds). Proceedings of the IEMSs Third Biennial Meeting: "Summit on Environmental Modelling and Software". International Environmental Modelling and Software Society, Burlington, USA, July 2006. CD ROM.

Interpretive Summary: This paper presents the architecture of a web-based decision support system for assessing Best Management Practices (BMPs) for development of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plans. As the BMPs can be defined specified spatially, the whole system is called a Spatial Decision Support System, or SDSS. The benefits of the approach are that the user does not have to manage all of the spatial data, which can be centrally managed. The disadvantage is that the division of labor has to be coordinated, so that SDSS developers have clearly defined requirements and support for future development and users have the specialized tools they need. Screenshots of the prototype SDSS showing its ability to calculate budgets, present maps showing results, and plot sediment abatement cost curves for the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed are provided.

Technical Abstract: This study presents a web-based spatial decision support system (SDSS) that supports watershed analysis from an economic perspective. The SDSS is intended to aid the development of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) to reduce sediment on rangeland watersheds. The SDSS architecture consists of three parts: the interface tier, the application tier, and the data tier. Middleware is used to integrate these three parts into one system. Dynamic web pages are used to support customized access to the system, including defining inputs, running analysis and viewing results. The middleware glues the interface, model, and database together seamlessly. The embedded models include geospatial models and a watershed optimization model. The database manages all the data through a web-based interface. The SDSS supports spatial inputs, such as pasture boundaries, water points and stock ponds, and nonspatial inputs, such as cost scenarios, sediment control objectives and policy options. The optimization model, the central analysis module of the SDSS, is a representative ranch model integrating plant growth, livestock grazing, ranch operation, and erosion. The SDSS was implemented for the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed to show the functionality of the SDSS in assessment of Best Management Practices (BMPs) in various soil conservation plans.

Last Modified: 10/15/2017
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