The Water Quality Index for Runoff from Agricultural Fields (WQIag) is a qualitative, multivariate tool that characterizes the quality of water exiting as surface runoff at the field scale. It is simple, transparent and easy-to-use web-based system. In combination with the published literature, the WQIag captures heuristic knowledge of different disciplinary experts such as soil scientists, agronomists, nutrient management specialists, and irrigation specialists and conservationists. Based upon the field characteristics, crop management practices (nutrient, tillage, pest control, irrigation and drainage) and structural practices; it ranks runoff water from 1 to 10 where 10 being the best and 1 being the worst. The presentation will provide an overview of the tool with a demo and discuss how it can be used by NRCS field staff and others in evaluating and tracking effectiveness of conservation practices in improving water quality over time and space. An application for continuing education credit for Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) and members of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) has been submitted.
- Harbans Lal, USDA-NRCS
- Brooks Engelhardt, USDA-NRCS
- Joe Harrison (Moderator), Washington State University
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by the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC)