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.

Related Articles


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 October 25, 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 October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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