Blue Plains Regional Committee Briefing November 30, 2004 Presented by: Steve Bieber Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Update on Chesapeake Bay Model Upgrade Projects
Potomac Upgrade Better spatial scale to simulate water quality responses to management efforts at a local scale. Better simulation of algal species and their impacts on water quality. Sediment and pH-alkalinity dynamics critical to the Potomac and Anacostia will be modeled. Chesapeake Bay Upgrade Sediment types and physical processes affecting sediment loads will be incorporated. Water quality responses to sediment control actions will be more accurately reflected. Improved sediment controls may reduce the need for WWTP upgrades. Project Description
Estimated Project Cost • The total cost of the project is estimated to be $3,504,600 • COE providing 50% of the total estimated project cost ($1,752,300) • MDE providing not less than $1,059,500 in in-kind services • COG’s commitments consist of $750,000 • $150,000 over 3 years ($450K total) which was approved by the BPRC. • $300,000 of in-kind services included in COG’s Regional Water Resources Regional Fund work program.
Blue Plains Users & COG U.S. EPA U.S. Army COE State of Maryland District of Columbia State of Virginia ICPRB Univ. of Maryland VIMS LimnoTech Hydroqual Smithsonian ERC USGS Occoquan WML Project Partners
Benefits to the Blue Plains Users • Proactive involvement in the regulatory decision making process: load allocations, permit conditions, and use attainability. • The ability to help define management scenarios used by regulatory agencies to define nutrient and sediment load reduction requirements. • Up front consideration of costs and model uncertainties relative to the predicted magnitude of water quality benefits. • Detailed capability for analyzing local water quality in the tidal fresh waters of the Potomac estuary, major embayments, and the Anacostia River. • Capability to assess local water quality impacts under different IMA flow regimes and discharge concentrations.
Project Schedule • Project start date was August 2003 Assemble data and inputs Recalibration Management Scenarios 2004 2005 2006 2007
Erosion Rate Measures • This task involves the measurement and analysis of sediment erosion rates in the Potomac and upper Chesapeake Bay. • Most fieldwork will take place in the Potomac.
Light Attenuation • First year of sampling program completed. Funded by ERDC SMART program
Particle Settling Velocity • The goal of this phase of the project is to produce statistically sound relationships that relate concentration and sinking of mineral solids (TSS-POC) with seasonal and regional variations in plankton community structure and dynamics. • Funding to UMD (Mike Kemp) commenced May 2004 • First-year report anticipated April 2005
Estuarine Phosphorus Model • Simulate the relationship between phosphorus loading and production and biomass of living resources in the Potomac River Estuary. • This is key to predicting the frequency and severity of harmful algae blooms. • BPRC cost-share of $300K being used for this study element.
Hydrodynamic Model • This task involves setting up and calibrating the CH3D hydrodynamic model on a revised grid suited for detailed sediment transport calculations. • First year planned activity nearly completed. Funded by EPA • Grid completed and approved after multiple revisions • Model is running for three years, 1993, 1994, 1997. Undergoing examination.
Boundary Layer Dynamics • This task involves developing algorithms to better characterize sediment resuspension occurring at the very thin sediment – water boundary layer. • MDE is funding VIMS for this activity. • Contracting is completed. Work is underway • Planned work reviewed by Modeling Subcommittee and revised by PIs
pH - Alkalinity • This task involves developing a mathematical modeling framework that relates pH to nutrient loading, primary production, and other factors. • This relates directly to the investigation of harmful algae blooms in the Potomac. • The Potomac Estuary is listed as impaired for violating the pH water quality criteria. • Field investigation of pH effects on sediment phosphorus release commenced April 2004. Completion summer 2005.
Other Activities • Anacostia Monitoring – MDE cost share. Three-year project; 1 year monitoring completed. • Fall-line monitoring – COG cost share. Ongoing program – contract in place. • Surface Waves – Activity to commence in first project year. EPA funds in hand.
Other Activities (Cont’d) • Bank Loads – Spatially detailed estimates of shoreline erosion will be created for the upper bay and Potomac. • Linkage to Water Quality Model will require major code development and testing.
Other Activities (Cont’d) • Algal Speciation – objective of this work is to refine and improve the representation of algal speciation, sources, dynamics and food web interactions in the Potomac portion of the Bay model. • Phase 5 Watershed Model - distributes flows and solids loads to the Potomac and upper Bay. • Anacostia Stream Bank Erosion – better estimates of sediment inputs from streams.
Other Activities (Cont’d) • Living Resource Modeling - This task involves direct modeling of interactions between suspended solids and living resources. Emphasis will be placed on benthos and submerged aquatic vegetation.