Integrated systems dynamics model for tmdl policy assessment: A lake allegan case study

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Conference Proceeding

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With growing population and extensive land use change, lake and reservoir eutrophication is a prevalent concern jeopardizing not only environmental integrity but also socioeconomic development of communities. While eutrophication is the result of dynamic interactions among multiple subsystems, analysts have often attempted to study this problem in isolation from its dynamic context. In this study, a systematic approach to simulating the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Lake Allegan, Michigan, is adopted to analyze the lake's recovery from its hypereutrophic state in the early 1970s. Although occasional monitoring programs conducted in the late 1980's and 1990's reveal that the lake's trophic state has improved somewhat, its nutrient content remains extremely high. The paper illustrates the development of a System Dynamics model of the underlying structure and mutual causality between population dynamics, land use change, and hydrologic processes as main drivers of the problem. Different policies to reduce phosphorus inputs, the main cause of the eutrophication, are simulated to provide insights into water quality management policy selection for the lake. © 2011 ASCE.

Publication Title

World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2011: Bearing Knowledge for Sustainability - Proceedings of the 2011 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress