Session 3: Modeling Water Quality and Sustainability

9:30-10:50 AM | Room 106

Development of a System Dynamics Model to Assess the Impact of River Regulation on Groundwater Sustainability

John C. Tracy
University of Idaho

Jennifer Johnson
US Bureau of Reclamation, Pacific Northwest Region

There is growing concern about the sustainability of groundwater supplies, especially within arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Several studies have examined a range of factors that can affect groundwater sustainability. However, none of these studies have proposed indicators to directly address how the regulation of surface water resources affects the sustainability of hydraulically connected groundwater resources. To better understand how river regulation impacts groundwater conditions, a system dynamics model was developed to simulate the interaction between integrated surface-groundwater flow processes, water management infrastructure, and water management practices for watersheds typical of Western United States water conditions.

Integrated Asset Management: Dealing with Neglected Infrastructure and Vacant Properties in Legacy Cities

Mary Beth Graebert, Mohamed El-Gafy, and Mark Wyckoff
Michigan State University

We are testing an integrated urban infrastructure model and laying the framework for developing a policy tool to allow water system providers and local planning officials to make informed land use and infrastructure decisions based on what is happening on and below the ground. This is a pilot project that will create the foundation for additional analysis, tool development, and outreach to help cities address a variety of issues related to the legacy of unsustainable infrastructure systems. This approach is desperately needed in legacy cities, but it can also be beneficial in any city experiencing infrastructure and land use challenges.

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Linking Ecological and Economic Models that Support Conservation Auctions to Reduce Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie

Leah Harris Palm-Forster, Scott M. Swinton, Frank Lupi, and Robert S. Shupp
Michigan State University

Todd Redder and Joseph V. DePinto
Limno Tech

Primarily fueled by agricultural phosphorus runoff from the Maumee Watershed, harmful algal blooms (Microcystis sp.) degrade water quality in the western basin of Lake Erie. Conservation procurement auctions are used to get the greatest impact from limited funds for conservation incentive payments by funding implementation of cost-effective agricultural best management practices (BMPs). We compare economic and ecological outcomes achieved in two real conservation auctions in which farmers bid to adopt target BMPs that reduce phosphorus loss. Low farmer participation limits nutrient reductions achieved within a given budget. Our research suggests ways to design conservation auctions to increase participation and cost effectiveness.

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