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Water Locator

Define the location of drinking water for each of your animal populations / herds. Set the drinking dependency in the other animal parameters in the Parameters View window and load the GIS data into the Water Locator. Modify this distribution and save the resulting file as your new GIS input. The Water Locator will work with you to make sure that your water points are valid according to your site and your area mask.

Use the Water Locator to introduce GIS data for your water points and/or bomas. You need to do this for every animal type in your model that you want to exhibit watering behaviour. If you request watering behaviour for the dry season, or wet season herding, but have not specified a water point/boma distribution, the modelling software will allocate a default distribution which is in fact a single point located centrally in the model grid.

Why are water points and bomas treated the same? Well, from experience, herding practises tend to kraal livestock each evening which equates boma enclosures with daily returns to drinking water sources. Therefore, for now, bomas are simply assumed in the same category as water, i.e., a focal point to return to. In future, water and boma distributions may be separately defined if there is a case for sufficient temporal and spatial differences between their utilization. This may require input from a study of herding practises. Currently, the model simply returns the animal population / herd to the specified source at the end of each foraging day if directed by your options for water dependency and wet season herding accessed through the Parameter View window.
  • To replace the default water point location or a previous GIS file and identify a new file for your animal water distribution using this window, click on the Load GIS data... button and use the standard dialog box to find your file
    You will be prompted if you are about to overwrite an entry in your GIS settings
  • The total number of waterpoints is reported in the information panel above the Load GIS data... button.
  • To help orientate your water location data use the Show Co-ordinates option which displays the grid co-ordinates of each cell.
  • There is an alternative to loading GIS data from a file, you can specify where your water points are manually by clicking on the grid. Click on the grid in an empty cell and it will light up blue , denoting a new water point has been placed there. Click on that cell again and the water point is deleted.
  • You can modify GIS data that you have loaded in exactly the same way. Click on existing water points to delete them, and on empty cells to create new ones.
  • Diagnostic messages will appear to inform you if any of your water points will be excluded from your simulation because of a conflict between your GIS data, e.g., the location is outside your site area defined by your Site Area Mask, or the animals are not allowed access to the water point as it lies outside their foraging range
    You can switch off these messages with the Show diagnostic messages option .
  • Invalid water point locations are shown in magenta
  • Regardless of the changes that you make to your water location grid for a certain animal type, if you already have a GIS file submitted for that animal type, then your changes will be overwritten when your model is updated or you run a simulation. This warning appears at the bottom of the window
    You should check in the GIS Control to see if you have a file associated with the water distribution for that animal type. If you do not have a GIS file associated with the water distribution for that animal type, or you have switched off your GIS inputs via your Preferences, then your changes are safe and this message appears at the bottom of the window
  • There is a better way to save your changes to the water distribution data for an animal type. Click the Export Text... button and use the standard dialog box to save your water grid as an ascii grid flat-file.
    You can now use this exported file as your new watering point GIS input data for your current animal type.
  • You can set a GIS data file for your current animal type either directly in the GIS Control or here by clicking the Set GIS data button . If you have no GIS input data for your current animal type then you will be presented with the Export Text... box to save your water grid to an ascii grid flat-file, as above. This export file will then be automatically submitted to the GIS Control to be entered as the GIS data file of water distribution for the current animal type.

    If you already have a GIS file associated with the water distribution for the current animal type, then you will be prompted to confirm replacing it with the new GIS data file before exporting your water grid to that new GIS data file
  • The co-ordinates of the water points in your grid are listed in the box to the right of the grid. You can organize the water points in to a sequence by clicking on their co-ordinates and using the up and down buttons . The animals will be returned to the next watering point in your sequence, and the sequence looped for constant use, if

    1) you have selected the Use points in a defined sequence option


    2) you have activated water dependency and/or wet season herding for your animal type in the associated Parameter Category through the Parameter View window.
  • You can return to the default water distribution at any time by clicking the Reset Default button when you will prompted to confirm deletion of your current settings
  • Loading and setting new GIS data requires the relevant parts of your model to be updated. This happens from within this window but causes it to momentarily disappear while the display is updated, but you can track progress in the information display and your trace file, both via the Main Control Panel.
  • The Close button closes the window when you have finished.