Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Algorithm Can Get Most Pollution Control For The Money

Date:
June 16, 2009
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
There may be thousands of things large and small that can be done to better control pollution on even the smallest waterways, and a new tool may help sort out how to choose the best ones.

There may be thousands of things large and small that can be done to better control pollution on even the smallest waterways, and a new tool developed at Purdue University may help sort out how to choose the best ones.

Indrajeet Chaubey, an associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, combined a best management practices tool with a complex genetic algorithm that can search out the best solutions for non-point source pollution control in a watershed. By analyzing data from an area, in just a few hours the tool can compute the most cost-effective pollution-control strategies for water resources affected by agriculture, a process that currently takes weeks or months.

A paper on the work appeared this past week in the journal Water Resources Research.

"When you have got limited resources to control non-point pollution in an area, you have to decide where to best use your resources," Chaubey said. "At the same time, you want to be sure you don't disrupt the agricultural production in an area."

Chaubey has spent the last several years developing a best management practices tool that takes into consideration all feasible solutions for decreasing non-point source pollution, or pollution that gets into water through runoff. The tool determines the best solution - such as changes in tillage practices, grass coverage and structural changes on the land - based on the amount of pollution that can be eliminated, the economic impact to agricultural land and other factors. The calculations used include soil, water, topography and other data usually collected by governmental agencies.

The algorithm assesses which of those practices will result in the most pollution control for the amount of money available with as little disruption to agriculture as possible.

"You have to look at the economic information at the same time. If the solution we provide will negatively impact farmers, it will not be adopted," Chaubey said. "Combining economic analysis with environmental analysis gives solutions that are more likely to be acceptable to farmers and watershed managers."

Current methods used to choose watershed-management practices include funding projects based on a first-come basis or spending on the project or projects seen as most beneficial. The problem is that one major project might break the budget, while several smaller projects could result in better pollution control for the same money.

Chaubey said the system was tested with information from the L'Anguille River Watershed in eastern Arkansas. Further testing is being done on six locations in Indiana. The U.S. Department of Agriculture funded the research.

Chaubey also expects to develop the tool in a format accessible by government officials to evaluate projects in their jurisdictions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "Algorithm Can Get Most Pollution Control For The Money." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615153122.htm>.
Purdue University. (2009, June 16). Algorithm Can Get Most Pollution Control For The Money. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615153122.htm
Purdue University. "Algorithm Can Get Most Pollution Control For The Money." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615153122.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Iceland has lowered its aviation alert on its largest volcano after a fresh eruption on a nearby lava field prompted authorities to enforce a flight ban for several hours. Duration: 01:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

AP (Sep. 1, 2014) A lightning strike injured three people on a New York City beach on Sunday. The storms also delayed flights and interrupted play at the US Open tennis tournament. (Sept. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Fears are mounting in Bangkok that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) A study of almost 20 years' worth of satellite images shows Antarctic sea levels are on the rise as ice shelves continue to melt. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins