Rather than just assess one dimension of water quality his tool offers a complete picture. It is currently being tested, but NRCS engineers say they hope to eventually offer the WQIag as a free smartphone app.
To get results a number of variables about a given field (eg slope, soil characteristics, nutrient and pest management, tillage practices and conservation practices) are entered into the tool. The WQIag then calculates these variables into a single rating on a 10-point scale, with 0 being very poor and 10 being excellent.
By adjusting some of the input variables farmers and ranchers can assess the impacts that these efforts will have an overall water quality.
To access the USDA’s water quality tool click here.
© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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