Integrated Watershed Management Using a Genetic Algorithm-Based Approach

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Title: Integrated Watershed Management Using a Genetic Algorithm-Based Approach
Author: Kuterdem, Can Ali
Advisors: Dr. S. Ranji Ranjithan, Chair
Dr. E. Downey Brill, Jr., Member
Dr. John W. Baugh, Jr., Member
Abstract: Watershed management requires consideration of a multitude of factors affecting water quality at the watershed-scale while integrating point and non-point sources of pollution and control. While the existing water quality modeling systems and associated quantitative tools can assist in some aspects of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) development for a watershed, their abilities to assist in determining efficient management strategies are limited. Typically, the best a user can do is employ these tools manually to explore the solution space via a trial-and-error process, which is inefficient for finding management strategies that consider water quality as well as a multitude of other design issues simultaneously. Recent implementation of the STAR (STrategy, Analysis, and Reporting) system incorporates a set of systems analytic tools to assist decisions-makers explore and identify alternative management strategies. The main engine of the STAR system is a genetic algorithm-based optimization technique, which is coupled with additional tools such as an uncertainty propagation tool, a solution reporting system, and an incremental strategy development system to form a decision support framework. This paper describes some of the capabilities of this framework through several illustrative scenarios for the Yellow River watershed in Gwinnett County, Georgia, which conducted a comprehensive, countywide TMDL investigation to assess the current water quality conditions. The STAR system's capabilities are employed to identify ways to achieve minimum total phosphorous (TP) levels via point and nonpoint source controls, as well as characterize the implications of future urban development on TP levels. Noninferior tradeoffs between urban development and TP levels at different degrees of point source controls are generated. The range of uses of the STAR system in considering the integrated effect of point and non-point sources in watershed management is demonstrated throughout these illustrative scenarios.
Date: 2001-07-13
Degree: MS
Discipline: Civil Engineering

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