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MODELING NON-POINT SOURCE POLLUTION AND THE IMPACT OF BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES USING A GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM

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Tillamook Bay, on the coast of the Oregon, has a history of bacterial pollution problems. A method to model non-point source pollution and the benefits of best management practices (BMPs) was developed using a Geographic Information System (GIS) platform, specifically Arc/Info and ArcView. A 100-foot grid digital elevation model was analyzed to estimate storm water discharge using spatially distributed annual precipitation data and calibrated runoff coefficients. Non-point source loads of bacteria were determined for each grid cell based on expected mean concentration (EMC) values that were assigned to runoff from each land use in the watershed. These non-point loads were accumulated down streams to the receiving estuary. The potential load reduction resulting from BMP implementation was calculated using data related to BMP effectiveness and level of implementation. Predicted concentration grids also were calculated along streams based on accumulated loads and flows. The model indicates that most of the bacteria load is coming from the dairy lands, but that implementation of BMPs can effectively reduce loads to the rivers and, ultimately, the bay. Results also show that the model can reasonably reproduce flow and load conditions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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