USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Development of a water quality modeling toolbox to inform pollutant reduction planning, implementation planning and adaptive management

Diagram of the toolbox elementsPrincipal Investigators:
John Reuter, University of California-Davis
Geoff Schladow, University of California-Davis

Proposal [pdf]

Final Report [pdf]

Additional Reports
Sahoo et al. 2013 [pdf]
Road Assessment for Water Quality Modeling [pdf]

Please contact Dr. Goloka Sahoo with questions regarding the reports and additional data files associated with this project.

Project Summary

The goals of this project were to (1) work with Lake Tahoe Basin water quality regulatory agencies to formally develop the envisioned Tahoe Water Quality Tool Box, (2) package selected models to include user-friendly protocols, documentation and application formats, leading to a means for technology transfer to basin users, (3) create conceptual and operational linkages between individual models as appropriate, and (4) update the Watershed Model to better address the critical issue of wildfire and pollutant runoff.

It is recognized by both researchers and environmental managers that the use of models for water quality planning at Lake Tahoe has just started with the current Lake Tahoe Total Maximum Daily Load  (TMDL) effort. This project was intended to extend this process by using the Tool Box concept to help organize and integrate the current loose confederation of models. This study was intended to establish a framework for future model development, application and revision; it was not intended to physically create all possible model linkages nor address all management questions.

The specific objectives of the project were to:

  1. Review the performance of both the LSPC Watershed Model and Lake Clarity Model with regard to meteorology, stream loading and lake clarity on the basis of new observational data collected since 2004 when the models were initially validated.
  2. Ready the Watershed Model and Lake Clarity Model for transfer to agencies by creating a user-friendly packaging format.
  3. Develop a computational linkage between the Lake Clarity Model and the University of California-Davis 3-D lake circulation model using regional meteorology output.
  4. Develop a computational linkage between the project-scale Pollutant Load Reduction Model (PLRM) and the basin-scale LSPC Watershed Model.
  5. Update the Watershed Model to better evaluate impact of wildfire on hydrology and loading.
  6. Develop a data product to house meteorology inputs used in water quality modeling.