Imagine having Internet access to the vital signs of key watersheds. That's one of the benefits of an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) water resource management program, now being expanded, that offers information on climate, water, and soil, as well as on the effectiveness of conservation and management practices.
This Web-based system, called "STEWARDS" (for Sustaining the Earth's Watersheds: Agricultural Research Data System), was developed by ARS researchers, data managers, and information-technology staff.
STEWARDS is part of the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP), a Farm Bill-driven initiative to measure the environmental effects and benefits of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conservation programs.
Soil scientist Jean Steiner and hydrologist Jin-Song Chen at the ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory in El Reno, Oklahoma, spearheaded the STEWARDS program in collaboration with soil scientist John Sadler of the ARS Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research Unit in Columbia, Missouri.
According to Steiner, STEWARDS can benefit researchers...