Using the swat model to predict the impact of land management practices in the framework of a decision support system. the arborea case, italy.

Pierluigi Cau
Proceedings - 2004
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Increased complexity of policy making in the environmental field presents an increasing challenge to policy makers. The issue of water management interrelates water with broader policy questions associated with social and economical development. A cross disciplinary, multisectoral approach must be adopted to collect and link together information that ranges from environmental models to imprecise background data in order to form an overview of the problem at hand. Objective of this work is to apply the physically based hydrological model, SWAT 2000, to predict the impact of different land management practices on water and agricultural chemical yield. The physical processes associated with water movement, crop growth, and nutrient cycling are directly modelled by SWAT. Model simulations will be used to identify indicators at each scale that reflect critical ecosystem processes or state variables related to the integrity and sustainability of those ecosystems. Specifically we will focus on stream quality and quantity indicators associated with anthropogenic and natural sources of pollution, thus improving our ability to identify the impact of land use practices. The multi-criteria decision support system (Mulino DSS) will be, then, used to develop the analysis matrix where water quality and quantity indicators given on the rivers, the lagoons, and the soil are coupled with socio-economical indices. Alternative options have been identified and the DPSIR framework adopted for the conceptualization of the decision context. The implementation of the decision process results in the analysis - evaluation matrix (different responses in terms of the DPSIR framework) and in an evaluation criteria, representing the weights and rules of the decision context. The methodology will be applied on the Arborea study case, located on the western central part of Sardinia, Italy. Due to land overexploitation and the high permeability of the soil, the shallow phreatic aquifer has been polluted by nutrients, while the deep aquifer, due to overexploitation, is heavily contaminated by seawater intrusion. Alternative land use strategies, that are being evaluated, include the transfer of the agricultural activities to the adjacent basins, with installation of a water treatment plant downstream, with or without reuse of the wastewater.

BibTex references

  editor       = {Cau, P.},
  title        = {Using the swat model to predict the impact of land management practices in the framework of a decision support system. the arborea case, italy.},
  year         = {2004},
  editor       = {ICHE},
  publisher    = {ICHE},
  organization = {ICHE},
  keywords     = {multicriteria analysis, swat, hydrological modeling, Arborea, Nitrate contamination},
  url          = {},

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