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IS IT REALLY TOO HARD TO ESTIMATE TMDL ALLOCATION COSTS?

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Watershed Management to Meet Water Quality Standards and Emerging TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) Proceedings of the Third Conference 5-9 March 2005 (Atlanta, Georgia USA) Publication Date 5 March 2005  701P0105.(doi:10.13031/2013.18077)
Authors:   S. M. deMonsabert, A. Z. Zaidi, and R. El-Farhan
Keywords:   TMDL Allocation, Bacteria TMDL, Economic Analysis, Optimization, Mathematical Modeling, BMP effectiveness

This paper proposes an optimization framework to estimate Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) implementation costs at the allocation phase. Instead of determining costs at the implementation phase after the final TMDLs have been derived, the adoption of the proposed strategy may result in an economically superior allocation. An optimization model was developed that can be used in conjunction with a water quality model (such as HSPF) to provide more cost-effective load allocations under the TMDL framework. The model was designed to minimize the overall pollutant reduction cost while satisfying the water quality criteria. The most economical load allocation scenario was determined through an optimal placement of control measures within the parcels of an agricultural watershed. The results of the TMDL allocations for the Roses Creek watershed in the Commonwealth of Virginia are used to test the methodology. The costs associated with the pollutant (bacteria) reductions as proposed in the published TMDLs are compared with the costs of the allocation derived from the optimization model. The proposed optimization framework not only optimized the allocation costs but also revealed the drawbacks in the current TMDL process.

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