ASSIMILATIVE CAPACITY MODELING USING INTEGRATED WATERSHED AND LAKE MODELS IN SUPPORT OF THE GEORGIA COMPREHENSIVE STATEWIDE WATER MANAGEMENT PLAN
Free (open access)
Volume 7 (2012), Issue 2
155 - 165
B.J. WATSON, J. WYSS, E.A. BOOTH & G. SOUSA
In 2004, the Georgia State Legislature passed the Comprehensive Statewide Water Management Planning Act, which mandated the development of a statewide water plan. The vision of the Act was that Georgia manages its water resources in a sustainable manner to support the State’s economy, to protect public health and natural systems, and to enhance the quality of life for all citizens. In 2008, the Georgia State Legislature adopted the Georgia Comprehensive Statewide Water Management Plan (State Water Plan), and provided funding for Resource Assessments, Forecasting, and Regional Water Planning. The purpose of Regional Water Plans is to guide each region in managing its water resources in a sustainable manner. This means not only allowing growth but also maintaining the ecological and biological health of the State’s rivers, lakes, and estuaries, as well as protecting State water quality standards. To evaluate the State’s water resources, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GAEPD), with the assistance of other agencies, conducted resource assessments to determine surface water availability, groundwater availability, and assimilative capacity. The assessments included the compilation and management of data, computer modeling of both current and future needs, and additional monitoring if needed. Results of the assessments were provided to Regional Planning Councils as a starting point for the development of a recommended Water Development and Conservation Plan. The Assimilative Capacity Resource Assessment included the development and calibration of a series of integrated models. Once calibrated, these models were used to evaluate a number of water management scenarios. These models are also being used to manage systems whose water quantity and quality are taxed and to assist in the development of nutrient criteria for various waterbody types. The approach taken by Georgia will serve as guide to other agencies in long-term water planning and sustainability.
Assimilative capacity, lake, lake sustainability, lake water quality standards, modeling, nutrient criteria, reservoir, water quality, watershed