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Computer Model Illustrates Water Movement Through Soil.

Hydrus, a windows-based, user-friendly computer model developed by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), displays the presence of water in soil by means of graphs or contour lines--rather than columns of numbers. Animation can illustrate how a fertilizer or other chemical would move through the soil and possibly into groundwater.

Hydrus allows agricultural engineers to design irrigation systems that provide optimal water to crops while minimizing the transport of fertilizers and pesticides to groundwater. Landfill designers have used the program to ensure their facilities do not release contaminants.

Dozens of scientists and students contributed to the model, which continues to evolve, thanks to a cooperative research-and-development agreement with the Colorado School of Mines International Ground Water Modeling Center (IGWMC) in Golden, Colorado. IGWMC distributes the model, provides handson help to users, runs short courses, and gives feedback to ARS so that the researchers can improve Hydrus.

So far, IGWMC has sold more than 500 copies of the model worldwide, and has conducted courses in the United States, Europe, and Australia.
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Publication:Journal of Environmental Health
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:00WOR
Date:Oct 1, 2000
Words:169
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