The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's water programs and their counterparts in states and pollution control agencies are increasingly emphasizing watershed- and water-quality-based assessment and integrated analysis of point and nonpoint sources.Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources (BASINS) is a system developed to meet the needs of such agencies. It integrates a geographic information system (GIS), national watershed data, and state-of-the-art environmental assessment and modeling tools into one convenient package.BASINS addresses three objectives:
It also supports the development of total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), which require a watershed-based approach that integrates both point and nonpoint sources. BASINS can support this type of approach for the analysis of a variety of pollutants. It can also support analysis at a variety of scales, using tools that range from simple to sophisticated.
Overcoming the lack of integration, limited coordination, and time-intensive execution typical of more traditional assessment tools, BASINS makes watershed and water quality studies easier by bringing key data and analytical components together "under one roof."
Originally released in September, 1996 (BASINS 1.0), the heart of BASINS is its suite of interrelated components essential for performing watershed and water quality analysis. These components are grouped into four categories:
|Computer||486-66 w/ CD-ROM||Pentium w/ CD-ROM|
|RAM||16 MB||32 MB|
|Free disk space||200 MB for an average State||400 MB for an average State|
|Operating System||Windows 3.1 or Windows 95||Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0|
|GIS Software||ArcView 2.1||ArcView 3.0a|