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BASINS EVOLVES TO INTEGRATE COMPONENTS AND DATA FOR WATERSHED MODELING AND TMDL DEVELOPMENT

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Watershed Management to Meet Water Quality Standards and Emerging TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) Proceedings of the Third Conference 5-9 March 2005 (Atlanta, Georgia USA) Publication Date 5 March 2005  701P0105.(doi:10.13031/2013.18068)
Authors:   Paul R. Hummel, Paul B. Duda, John L. Kittle, Mark H. Gray, Russell S. Kinerson
Keywords:   BASINS, HSPF, Watershed Modeling, TMDL, Geographical Information Systems, Software

EPA’s Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources (BASINS) is a multipurpose environmental analysis system designed for use by regional, state, and local agencies performing watershed and water quality-based studies. This system makes it possible to quickly assess large amounts of data in a format that is easy to use and understand. BASINS allows the user to assess water quality at selected stream sites or throughout an entire watershed. This invaluable tool integrates environmental data, analytical tools, and modeling programs to support development of cost-effective approaches to watershed management and environmental protection.

Throughout its history, BASINS has looked to incorporate new data sources and analytical tools to expand its capabilities. BASINS is designed around an extensible, component-based architecture that allows for the addition of new data and tools. The latest National Elevation Dataset (NED) and the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) were recently added for version 3.1 and additional data are being added from the Census of Population and the Census of Agriculture. New analytical tools have also been added, such as USDA-ARS’s Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA), the Model Parameter Optimizer Tool (PEST), and the Watershed Characterization System (WCS).

The design of BASINS allows incorporation of these new data types and tools without significant modifications to the core software. Likewise, the design will facilitate removing the requirement of proprietary GIS software, a key feature of BASINS 4.0. This flexibility enables BASINS to continue evolving to meet the changing needs of the watershed management community.

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