The Fisheating Creek watershed located in Florida, USA is the focus of intense efforts to reduce nutrient transport into Lake Okeechobee which is located downstream. Public agencies and private land owners have proposed constructing large nutrient removal basins in the watershed to reduce the overall nutrient load into Lake Okeechobee. This is challenging given the nature of the watershed with its low water availability and sensitivity to drought. This study evaluates the feasibility of implementing nutrient removal systems in such a watershed including the overall risk and uncertainty of system performance. The study uses statistical evaluations of available water resources data and model simulations using HEC-HMS to evaluate watershed flow conditions. Then, the study outlines alternatives for nutrient removal system implementation. The study revealed that considerable nutrient reduction is feasible but not optimal due to low overall water availability. The primary conclusion is that while nutrient removal projects as large as 294 hectares can be constructed, the overall system operation will have to be very flexible to account for widely ranging inflows including very low flows during drought situations.
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Preliminary Design of Nutrient Removal Basins in the Fisheating Creek Watershed Florida, USA Subject to Drought Conditions and Low Water Availability
Published: 15 November 2018 by MDPI in 3rd International Electronic Conference on Water Sciences (ECWS-3) session Submission
Keywords: watershed simulation; drought; nutrients