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Internet-Based Technology for Determination of Wetland Water Quality Characteristics
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Hydrologic and physical characteristics of a watershed are needed by USDA-NRCS to determine potential wetland areas. Many tools have been developed by the USDA-NRCS to aid in the evaluation of the hydrology of potential wetlands. These tools are analytical techniques used to supplement the documentation of a wetland determination, often requiring accessing extensive database information. The acquisition of this information can be difficult and tedious for even typical hydrologic applications, such as obtaining parameters needed from a climatic, soils, or landuse database. Computer-based technological tools have aided in the determination of potential wetland hydrologic characteristics.

Wetland hydrologic tools developed utilizing the Internet provides users of different computer operating systems a common interface. The tools and related information can be stored on a central computer, reducing user data storage and installation space requirements. This study presents the development of an internet-based decision support system (DSS) for use with hydrology tools for wetland determination. These tools, such as the computation of daily runoff from a watershed or the duration and frequency of surface flooding of depressional areas, can simplify the procedures NRCS personnel use to calculate wetland hydrologic characteristics. Graphical results from the DSS can provide a quick presentation of wetland characteristics based on user-selected parameters.

Eventual implementation of this tool into NRCS field offices is one objective of a more comprehensive wetland modeling project supported by the USDA-NRCS Wetland Science Institute. This modeling effort involves development of wetland processes into the continuous version of AGNPS. Model evaluations of various management practices affecting wetlands can provide action agencies with additional information on which practice is more effective in improving water quality.

Point of Contact 

Ronald L. Bingner, Research Leader