Water Quality Research Journal of Canada

Vol. 37 (3): 577 - 586 (2002). General issue

Optimizing the Management of Soil Erosion

   Davood Nikkami, Maria Elektorowicz, Guy R. Mehuys

Abstract
To reduce the environmental and economical impact of soil erosion resulting from improper management of land-use activities, a study was initiated by the Iranian Ministry of Construction on Syahrood, one of the sub-basins of the Damavand watershed in Iran. Land-use optimization is one of the appropriate strategies for soil conservation. It can empower the decision maker or watershed manager to choose from different land-use scenarios to reach the best decision with the different combinations of variables. The output results of the sediment yield model, including the integration of the Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation (MUSLE) with Spatial Analysis System-Geographic Information System (SPANS-GIS), along with the net income of each land use were used as input in the land-use optimization model for minimizing the sediment yield and maximizing farm production of each land use. The multi-objective linear programming simplex method of Steuer (1995) was used to solve the problem. The optimization process allocated dryland farming areas to rangelands if no changes were made to the current supporting practice system. The expected annual sediment yield from the entire sub-basin was reduced by 2420 tonnes/year (or by 5%) and the annual net farm income was increased by 3.99 billion Iranian Rial/year (or by 134%).

Keywords
multi-objective linear programming, optimization, sediment yield, soil erosion

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