Applied Engineering in Agriculture , 25 , 2009

Merriman, K.R., Gitau, M.W., Chaubey, I.

Best management practices (BMPs) are being implemented across the United States to combat water pollution by nutrient and sediment often with little knowledge about the actual effectiveness of the BMPs. Previously, most BMP studies have focused on determining the effectiveness of a single BMP; often the knowledge acquired from these individual studies has been applicable only to the study site. However, these studies can be compiled over a wide range of site conditions and used collectively to obtain reliable estimates of BMP effectiveness. In this regard, a BMP tool was developed for use in Arkansas. The underlying database contains over 120 references and includes 163 agricultural BMPs grouped into 14 classes and 147 urban BMPs grouped into 8 classes. This tool will facilitate effectiveness‐based BMP selection for agricultural and urban applications by providing BMP effectiveness estimates based on site characteristics. Because of the State's rapid urban development and heavy focus on agriculture, this tool will find use among watershed planners and local and state agencies alike. The tool can be used as a standalone application or can be linked with other applications. This tool can also be easily expanded to include data from other areas beyond Arkansas and the surrounding region or be used as a template for other BMP tools. This tool, along with a users' manual, will be available for no charge to any interested user.