Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Algorithm can get most pollution control for the money

image 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.

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. …

Algorithm Can Get Most Pollution Control For The Money

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1 comment:

Bhuvan Chand said...

The Government is to review air standards to see if they are realistic. But Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says that means it intends to weaken or delay them. Environment Minister Nick Smith today said air quality standards needed to be “practical and achievable” and 10 cities and towns, including Auckland and Christchurch, were unlikely to meet the standards set in 2005 by the 2013 deadline. A technical advisory group would review the national environmental standards for particulate air pollution under the Resource Management Act.