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CHARACTERIZING FLOW AND PHOSPHORUS LOADS FOR LAKE OKEECHOBEE WATERSHED USING WAM

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Abstract:

Watershed Assessment Model (WAM) was set up and calibrated / validated for simulating the existing conditions within the 20 basins in the Lake Okeechobee Watershed. This modeling effort was done as part of the larger Lake Okeechobee Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) project.

The goal of modeling for the CERP project is to first develop the hydrologic/water quality characterization of tributaries, and then to assess various management scenarios for phosphorous reduction. WAM was selected as the primary analytical tool for this project because it was designed to assess current conditions and to analyze the impacts of land use and management alternatives. Also, WAM was the only model available that could represent the high water table conditions in the watershed. Modeling efforts included the simulation of flows and total phosphorus loadings for every stream reach within the watershed. The basins contain a variety of land uses including forests, wetlands, dairies, beef pastures, row crops, citrus, residential, and commercial. As part of the overall project, conservation easements, agricultural BMPs, and reservoir-assisted storm water treatment areas (RASTAs) will be included in the final model effort.

Since WAM is a process-based model, traditional model calibration was not utilized. However, all possible field parameters which can be physically measured to ensure accurate model renderings of the basins were considered. Daily stages, flows, and total phosphorus loads were simulated for each stream reach in each basin for the period 1991 through 2000. Measured and simulated values were compared for five-year average annual flows and total phosphorus concentrations and for daily time series. These comparisons indicate that WAM can reliably simulate flows and phosphorus loads and concentrations discharged from the basins.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/193864703784828435

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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