Water Quality and Sediment Modeling
Water bodies tend to either scour or deposit sediment under different flow conditions. Sediment modeling to quantify sediment transport and deposition helps decision-makers evaluate conditions that affect the overall functionality and lifespan of water supply/flood control reservoirs and related water bodies. Aqua Strategies provides field services to establish baseline conditions through bathymetric surveys, cross-section surveys, water surface profile surveys and sediment sampling. Through modeling, Aqua Strategies quantifies sediment scour and deposition, bank stability, sediment transport, riparian inundation, and reservoir sediment deposition along with water quality data on temperature, dissolved oxygen levels and nutrient levels. For the last 8 years, Aqua Strategies has been providing water quality and sediment modeling for over 400 miles of the Trinity River, from the DFW area to Trinity Bay.
Client: Trinity River Authority
Date: 2014 – ongoing
Keywords: Water Resources Planning; Regional Planning; Environmental Flows; Risk Analysis/Decision Support Tools; Stakeholder Engagement
Since 2014, Aqua Strategies has supported the Trinity River Authority’s efforts to comply with the landmark Senate Bill 3 (SB3) passed by the Texas Legislature to establish and monitor environmental flows to enhance the health and ecological functionality of rivers and estuarine habitats. The study area spans over 400 miles as the Trinity River flows from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to the Trinity Bay on the Gulf of Mexico.
Aqua Strategies used LiDAR surveys to collect relevant baseline data along the 400-mile stretch of the Trinity River and developed a data archive structure to store and manage the extremely large data sets. Customized models were used by Aqua Strategies to determine water surface profiles under differing flow conditions, resulting in riparian inundation mapping under flow pulse conditions to evaluate environmental and ecological conditions relevant to SB3.
Current activities include modeling and validation of SB3 flow conditions based on site-specific data collection at four representative sites. HEC-RAS modeling is ongoing to refine measurements for riparian inundation, sediment scour, bank stability and water quality indicators in the effort to refine environmental flow requirements along the Trinity River. Because of the unique and important nature of these studies, Aqua Strategies is communicating with multiple stakeholders to transfer best practices to other river basin environmental flow studies within Texas.