U.S. Water News Online
BOISE, Idaho -- Achieving greater irrigation efficiencies
in Idaho's Snake
River Basin has all the feel of strapping on an F-16 fighter and going for
ride. The Snake River Explorer, interactive computer software that models the
dynamics of the basin's watershed and develops sustainable management
strategies, is described as a "management flight simulator."
Like a flight simulator, the Snake River Explorer allows the user
establish inputs, which in turn are used to calculate specific consequences
for the watershed for up to 200 years in the future. Unique among modeling
software, the Snake River Explorer keeps track of the interconnections
between the watershed's many resource issues instead of being narrowed to a
single defined problem.
Currently, the Explorer is being refined by its developers, the
National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) and Washington State University.
Although the model was developed primarily to study the Snake River, it
should be easily adapted to other watersheds within the U.S. and around the
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