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Assessment of Availability and Use of Hydrodynamic, Runoff, and Fate and Transport Models

Client: HydroQual, Inc., Mahwah, New Jersey
Funding: Water Environment Research Foundation, Alexandria, VA

In order to assist its member subscribers in making the appropriate choice of water quality modeling tools for their specific problems, the Water Environment Research Federation provided funding for a study to assess the availability and use of hydrodynamic, runoff, and fate and transport models. AQUA TERRA Consultants teamed with HydroQual and Camp, Dresser and McKee to perform a comprehensive evaluation of currently available models.

The Project Team made an initial review of the literature and other sources of information concerning mathematical models, including the Internet, and prepared a candidate list of models or computer codes in each of the following categories: hydrodynamic models, runoff models, water quality models, groundwater models, and toxics fate and transport models. AQUA TERRA's primary responsibility focused on runoff and receiving water models (both water quality and toxics fate and transport models). The list of candidate models was provided to the WERF Project Manager and Project Subcommittee (PSC) members for their review, in order to ensure that the Project Team did not overlook any candidate models.

Upon approval of the final list of models for evaluation, a set of evaluation criteria and a standardized evaluation form were established for each model group. Models were characterized in terms of such attributes as media of concern, analysis level(s), methods, temporal representation, dimensional capability, source/release types, sources, assessment extent, applicability to water body types, type of chemicals, critical processes, model uses, resource requirements, model use features, model support, and model availability.

The results of the evaluation were presented in a final report; in addition, AQUA TERRA developed a Visual Basic application called the WERF Model Selection Tool that considers all of the approximately 150 models identified jointly by the Project Team and the WERF PSC. AQUA TERRA also provided an instructor for a WERF-sponsored workshop that offered an overview of available models and training on using the model selection tool to attendees of the WEFTEC 2000 Conference in Anaheim, California (October 2000).

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