Application of water quality simulation models in river basin planning

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Different approaches for using water quality simulation models in river basin planning are presented. It is argued that adopting an interactive role for simulation modelling in river basin planning would improve the way that models are utilized and could help bridge the gap between planning and implementation. With an interactive approach, modelling is used as a tool for developing river basin plans rather than simply as a tool for evaluating them. An evaluation of the South Saskatchewan River Basin Planning Programme (SSRBPP) concluded that the overall approach used was not amenable to finding solutions to water quality problems or to the effective use of water quality simulation models. The water quality model used (WQRRS) was too complex a tool to be integrated into the scenario development process. Instead WQRRS was restricted to a passive evaluation and was not part of the scenario development phase. The current approach to developing and implementing river basin plans in Alberta is not amenable to an interactive modelling approach. A simple interactive model application for the Bow River demonstrated the utility of the interactive modelling approach. The Stochastic River Quality Model (SRQM) is relatively simple to use and was effective for rapidly predicting the effects of different planning options. The SRQM modelling revealed that resolution of dissolved oxygen (DO) problems for the Bow River is limited by the inadequacy of fixed DO objectives and by an incomplete understanding of the relationship between aquatic plant densities and fish populations.
Bibliography: p. 126-141
Digel, M. (1992). Application of water quality simulation models in river basin planning (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/17277