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GIS and Web-based DSS for Preliminary TMDL Development

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

Citation:  Pp. 477-484 in Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Environmental Regulations: Proceedings of the March 11-13, 2002 Conference, (Fort Worth, Texas, USA)  701P0102.(doi:10.13031/2013.7599)
Authors:   Jin-Yong Choi, Bernard A. Engel, Jon Harbor
Keywords:   TMDL, GIS, Internet, WWW, Decision Support System

TMDL development and implementation have great potential for use in efforts to improve water quality management, but the TMDL approach still has several difficulties to overcome in terms of cost, time requirements, and suitable methodologies. A well-defined prioritization approach for identifying watersheds of concern among several target locations that would benefit from TMDL development and implementation, based on a simple screening approach, could be a major step in solving some of these difficulties. Therefore, a web-based decision support system (DSS) was developed to help identify areas within watersheds that might be priority areas for TMDL development. The DSS includes a graphical user interface based on the HTML protocol, hydrological models, databases, and geographic information system (GIS) capabilities. The DSS has a hydrological model that can estimate non-point source pollution loading based on over 30 years of daily direct runoff using the curve number method and pollutant event mean concentration data. The DSS provides comprehensive output analysis tools using charts and tables, and also provides probability analysis and best management practice cost estimation. Furthermore, the DSS has a spatial query system that provides watershed delineation capabilities via the web using CGI and grid processing techniques to support spatial and input data preparation. In conclusion, the DSS is a simple, affordable tool for the preliminary study of TMDL development via the Internet, and the DSS web site can also be used as an information web server for education related to TMDL.

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