Nutrient Modeling Tools and Training to Empower States to Meet Their Modeling Needs
Author: Amanda Howell Water Quality and Watershed Modeling Coordinator US EPA Region 4
Abstract: Eutrophication is a complex process resulting from many contributing factors and interactions. To make scientifically sounds and defensible decisions, extensive and expensive monitoring plans, both spatially and temporally, are needed. With growing constraints on state and federal budgets, nutrient water quality models will increasingly be used to support assessment, permitting, and restoration decisions in watersheds with limited data. However, states typically do not have the technical expertise in-house to develop models, nor the discretionary funds for consultant-built models. Furthermore, without in-house technical expertise, existing models cannot be revised or extended for future use. The EPA Region 4 Modeling Team is working to streamline the modeling process and provide training to states and other EPA Regional offices. Region 4 has developed, utilized, and/or linked multiple GIS, databases, spreadsheet, and modeling programs. This presentation will highlight the tools and processes developed by Region 4, describe the typical modeling set-up employed, and provide a checklist outlining the required data and development tool needed to create necessary datasets.