Estimated effects on water quality of Lake Houston from interbasin transfer of water from the Trinity River, Texas
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The city of Houston is considering the transfer of water from the Trinity River to Lake Houston (on the San Jacinto River) to alleviate concerns about adequate water supplies for future water demands. U.S. geological survey, in cooperation with the city of Houston, conducted a study to estimate the effects on the water quality of Lake Houston from the transfer of Trinity River water. A water quality model, CE-QUAL-W2, was used to stimulate six water-quality properties and constituents for scenarios of interbasin transfer of Trinity River water. Three scenarios involved the transferred Trinity River water augmenting stream flow in the east fork of Lake Houston, and three scenarios involved the transferred water replacing stream flow from the west fork of the San Jacinto River. The estimated effects on Lake Houston were determined by comparing volume-weighted daily mean water temperature, phosphorus, ammonia, nitrogen, algal biomass, and dissolved oxygen simulated for each of the transfer scenarios to simulations for a base dataset. The effects of the interbasin transfer on Lake Houston do not appear to be detrimental to water temperature, ammonia nitrogen, or dissolved oxygen. Phosphorus and nitrite nitrogen showed fairly large changes when Trinity River water was transferred to replace west fork San Jacinto river stream flow. Algal biomass showed large decreases when trinity river water was transferred to augment east fork lake Houston stream flow and large increases when trinity river water was transferred to replace west fork San Jacinto river stream flow. Regardless of the scenario simulated, the model indicated that light was the limiting factor for algal biomass growth.
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Texas Department of Water Resources. (Texas Department of Water Resources., 1983)No abstract available
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