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ERD WATERSHED AND WATER QUALITY MODEL DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT PROGRAM
The objective of this task is to develop, support and transfer a wide variety of tools and mathematical models that can be used to support watershed and water quality protection programs in support of OW, OSWER, and the Regions.
The ERD has a long history in providing model research and development and technical support to Regions, States and the Office of Water for watersheds/water quality ecosystem research. The ERD efforts are described in major subtasks comprising the Program. Briefly, these are:
CEAM: The EPA Center for Exposure Assesment Modeling was established in 1987 to meet the scientific and technical exposure assessment needs by distributing and supporting simulation models and database software in the areas of groundwater, surface water, food chain and multimedia models.
Technical Support Center: As part of the evolution to this commitment, the EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) established in November 2003 the Watershed and Water Quality Modeling Technical Support Center (WWQMTSC) at ERD to provide tools and approaches to customers for the implementation of the Clean Water Act and to identify new research issues related to the need to meet Clean Water Act requirements.
Mercury modeling: Model development is underway to improve the scientific understanding of the linkage between mercury loadings to watersheds, speciated mercury concentrations in water bodies, and fish methylmercury bioaccumulation. The goal is to complete a set of watershed and water body models for transformation and bioaccumulation of mercury that can be linked with models for atmospheric deposition and hydrology to yield a multimedia integrated modeling system capable of quantifying regional exposure to mercury and apply state of the art watershed and water body modeling to assess exposures to mercury for impacted aquatic ecosystems.
Sediment fate and transport: The goal is to develop a consensus framework for both contaminated and clean sediments. This comprises fate/transport/bioaccumulation modeling at Superfund sites to include modeling protocols for applying the component contaminated sediment transport and bioaccumulation models and to develop riverine sediment transport modeling systems to be used to forecast the effectiveness of alternative management plans in meeting sediment-related criteria and standards for appropriate biological endpoints. Additionally, work is underway to develop and apply a hyperlinked, web-based computational framework to calculate sediment total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and conduct other watershed-based analyses of sedimentation-related water quality problems.
Nutrients and Eutrophication of Water Bodies: The objective of this sub-task is to produce enhanced surface water models that can be used to forecast the dynamics of nutrient cycling, eutrophication, and dissolved oxygen in response to various management scenarios and natural conditions.