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BASINS
Better Assessment Science Integrating
point and Non-point Sources
Tools for Watershed and
Water Quality Assessment
GISHydro99
1999 ESRI User Conference
Andrew T. Battin
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Water
Mission of EPA’s
Office of Science and Technology

Mission Highlights
– To provide technical assistance and support to the
Agency’s Effluent Guidelines and to the Water Quality
Criteria and Standards Program
– To develop guidance on specific water quality issues
– Develop methods, models, procedures to support
nationwide watershed studies
Problem Solving and Technical Tools
1-2
BASINS Development Team

EPA
–
–
–
–
–



1-3
Russell Kinerson
Andrew Battin
Bill Tate
Paul Cocca
Marjorie Wellman
Aqua Terra Consultants
Tetra Tech Inc.
USDA ARS & Texas A&M
(Blacklands Research
Center)
–
–
–
–
–
Mimi Dannel
Ed Partington
Hira Biswas
Bryan Goodwin
David Wells
Examples of Watershed
Management Programs
Supported by EPA

Water quality assessment and analysis

Watershed management

Source water protection

TMDL program
Varying problems - similar approaches
1-4
Commonalities of Watershed
Management Programs
1
2
1-5
– Characterization: understand the “big
picture”. What is contained with the
watershed? What are the activities, uses,
sources, and resources?
– Source identification: what potential
sources are within the watershed?
Identify location and spatial distribution,
potential magnitude of loading/stress,
location/type of impacted resources.
Commonalities of Watershed
Management Programs
3
4
1-6
– Develop and evaluate management
alternatives: taking action requires an
evaluation of the alternatives, consideration
of the benefit/cost. Analysis considers what,
where and how to control/manage
pollutants/stressors.
– Communicate watershed information to the
public: present, describe, teach, and
summarize environmental information and
actions for the public stakeholders.
The Clean Water Act and TMDLs

Goal of CWA
– Ensure that the Nation’s waters protect aquatic life,
wildlife and human health

Tools
– TMDLs are one of many tools authorized by the CWA to
implement applicable water quality standards

Primary CWA Tool
– NPDES permits for point sources - Nonpoint sources are
not subject to NPDES permits

NPDES Permits
– Contain effluent limits on pollution discharged,
including water quality-based effluent limits when
necessary to achieve water quality standards
1-7
303(d) List of Waters

Each state shall assemble and evaluate all
existing and readily available water quality data
and information to develop the Section 303(d) list
of waters.

Each state shall identify those water qualitylimited segments requiring TMDLs.

Water quality-limited segment:
– Any segment where it is known that water quality does
not meet applicable WQS, even after the application of
effluent limits by the CWA.
1-8
303 (d) Summary of Key Points

List includes only those waters where technologybased limitations or other required actions are not
expected to implement WQS.

List is based on existing and readily available data.

List is dynamic and changes over time to reflect
new information, current practices, and new
control activities.

Prioritization is not necessarily by waterbody, but
can be prioritized by class (e.g., type of pollutant).
1-9
The TMDL Program
TMDL =  WLAi +  LAi + MOS
 WLAi: Sum of waste loads (point sources)
 LAi: Sum of loads (non point sources)
MOS: Margin Of Safety
1-10
Problem Statement #1
Point Source
Criteria/standard
(Allowable Capacity)
C
mg/l
Cb
Impaired reach
Miles
1-11
P1
Problem Statement #2
Non-point Source
Criteria/standard
C
mg/l
Time
1-12
Existing condition
Allocation Scenario
The TMDL Program

Five key steps for TMDL development
– Problem statement
– Definition of endpoint
– Source identification
– Linkage between source and receiving water
– Allocation
Analytical tools can be used to support each step of the
TMDL “process”
1-13
Analytical Needs to Support Water
Quality Management Programs

Monitoring data
– Represents condition of system
– Provides the backbone for most analysis and modeling

Spatial/locational data
– Point sources, highly erodible areas, construction areas...

Statistical analysis and mapping tools
– Water quality trends, waterbody comparisons, proximity of
impaired water quality to potential sources

Assessment and modeling tools
– What are the relative contributions of the various pollution
sources?
– What will happen if we develop the watershed?
– How can we evaluate planning and management
alternatives?
1-14
Analytical Needs (cont.)

Spatial analysis capabilities
– Ability to relate causes and effects through mapping/overlays

Compilation, management, and facilitated access to
historical data
– Trend in land use changes, point source loadings, monitoring
– Population growth - how much? Where? ...

Source characterization and quantification
– Inventory of sources
– Magnitude and significance of sources

Prediction of future conditions and implications of
management
– What is the best solution to meet objectives and
regulatory requirements?
1-15
Watershed
Small Area Studies
Land Use Units
Urb
Subwatersheds
Rivers/Streams
Sub 1
Sub 2
Urban landuse with BMPs
Sub 3
Ag
Sub 4
Rural landuses with BMPs
1-16
Sub 5
Receiving
Water
BASINS V2.0 System Overview
Nationally Available Data
Assessment Tools
Models
Target
Assess
Base
Cartographic
Data
Target
DM
•
HSPF - NPSM
Environmental
Background Data
QUAL2E
Environmental
Monitoring Data
Assess
DecisionMaking
Analysis
State and Local Data
TOXIROUTE
Data Mining
Point Source/Loadings Data
Watershed Reporting
1-17
Model Post-Processors
Watershed
Management
.
TMDLs
.
Source Water
Protection
.
Stormwater
Overview of BASINS Data
Products
GIS Data
Data Categories
 Base
Cartographic Data
 Environmental
1-19
Data
Base Cartographic Data

Definition:
– Data that enhances the ability to interpret maps by
providing a known frame of reference

Examples:
–
–
–
–
–
1-20
EPA regional boundaries
Major roads
Populated place locations
State and county boundaries
Urbanized area boundaries
BASINS Environmental Data

Data capturing information on spatial and temporal
changes in environmental conditions
GIS
Physical Data
(Landscape Features)
Pollution Sources
(Environmental Stressors)
1-21
Monitoring Data
(Environmental Response)
BASINS Data Products
Environmental Data

Pollution sources
– Permitted dischargers (PCS)
GIS
– Toxic Release Inventory sites (TRI)
– Industrial Facility Dischargers (IFD)
– Mineral Industry Locations
– Superfund sites (NPL)
– Land Use/ Land Cover
– Population centers
1-22
Landscape
Sources
Monitoring
BASINS Data Products
Environmental Data

Physical landscape features
– USGS Watershed boundaries
GIS
– RF1 and RF3 Stream networks
– Land Use/ Land Cover
Landscape
– Elevation (DEM)
– Dam locations
– Soil characteristics
1-23
Sources
Monitoring
BASINS Data Products
Environmental Data

Environmental monitoring
GIS
– Water Quality station summaries (STORET)
– Bacteria station summaries (STORET)
Landscape
– Water Quality Observation Data
– National Sediment Inventory (NSI)
– USGS Stream flow (gaging stations)
– Fish and Wildlife Advisories
– Shellfish Contamination Inventory
– Clean Water Needs Survey
– Meteorological (477 station locations)
1-24
Sources
Monitoring
Meteorological Data in BASINS
Example of GIS
Coverage
of Meteorological
Station
WDM
INF
Identify appropriate
Meteorological
Station from GIS
NPSM Meteorological
Station Selection Screen
1-25
BASINS Assessment Tools
BASINS Project View
1-27
Types of Tools Included in BASINS
(3 Categories of Tools)

Spatial analysis and overlays (GIS capability)
– Facilitate examination of multiple types of information
– Access to full functionality of ArcView

BASINS custom suite of integrated tools
– Targeting
– Assessment
– Data Mining
– Watershed Reporting

BASINS utilities
– Import new or local data sets (watersheds, landuse)
– Re-classify landuse, DEM
– Watershed Delineation
1-28
Custom Tools included with
BASINS
 Target: Provides broad-based evaluation of
watershed water quality and point source
loadings.
 Assess:
Watershed-based evaluation of
specific water quality stations and/or
dischargers and their proximity to
waterbodies.
 Data
Mining: Dynamic link of data elements
using a combination of tables and maps.
Allows for visual interpretation of
geographic and historical data.
 Watershed
Reporting: Automated summary
report system. Allows users to select types
of information to be included. Automated
generation of associated graphics and
tables.
1-29
Target
Assess
DM
Target
Select Target option
from menu
Ranking
of
watershed
Distribution
of monitoring
data by CU
1-30
Overall
summary of
monitoring
data
Select Assess
option from menu
Average
condition
for selected
pollutant
by CU
Station
summaries
for selected
pollutant
1-31
Assess
Distribution
of monitoring
stations by CU
Data Mining
WQ
stations
WQ
parameter
and code
WQ
summaries
1-32
Spatial
distribution of
monitoring
stations
BASINS Custom Tool
Watershed Report
Information available:








1-33
Administrative and locational report
Point source discharge summary
Dam locations
State soil series data
Land use summary
Stream system inventory
Toxics (NSI, TRI)
STORET water quality monitoring
An Example of Watershed
Report
1-34
BASINS Utility Tool
Import

The import tool gives users the capability to add
their own data into the BASINS system:
–
–
–
–
–
1-35
Watershed boundaries (8-digit or smaller)
Landuse
Stream Networks
Elevation (DEM) Polygons
Water Quality Observation Data
BASINS Utility Tool
Landuse Re-classification

Users can re-classify part of the landuse theme or
the entire theme interactively

Users can re-classify their imported landuse data

Re-classification to various levels of detail
– Anderson Level 1 to Level 2
– Create more detailed levels

Weigh the potential significance of land use
changes on water quality
1-36
BASINS Utility Tool
Watershed Delineation

Allows users to interactively subdivide a USGS 8digit watershed into smaller sub-watersheds
using mouse point-and-click inputs.

Sub-delineated watersheds and underlying data
are then available for more detailed modeling.

It provides capability to modify the previous
delineations.
1-37
An Example of Delineated
Watersheds using
DEM, RF3, and RF1
1-38
Modeling Process
Need to plan ahead and follow a structured modeling plan
Data Collection (historic, field)
Phase I
Model Input Preparation
Parameter Evaluation
Calibration
Phase II
Verification
Post-Audit
Phase III
1-39
Analysis of Alternatives
Modeling Strategy
 Need
to define a suitable level of
segmentation
Factors to Consider
Watershed
LU distribution
Soils
Topo/weather stn. loc.
Data (weather, PS)
Management
Planning
Regulatory
Impact
Alternative analysis
1-40
Lumped
2 Segments
Distributed
8 Segments
Overview of Model Categories

Landscape models
– Runoff of water and dissolved materials on and through the
land surface
– Erosion of sediment, and associated constituents, from the
land surface

Receiving water models
– Flow of water through streams, into lakes and estuaries
– Transport, deposition, and transformation in receiving waters
1-41
BASINS Modeling System

NPSM (HSPF v11)
– Integration of Point and Non-Point Source Modeling
– Instream flow routing and water quality
– Specialized agricultural chemical modeling
 Pesticides
 Nutrients
– Other Chemicals
 Metals
 BOD/DO
– Pathogens
– Sediment
– Air Deposition (under development)
– Continuous hydrologic simulation - Hourly time step
1-42
How NPSM fits into BASINS
B
A
Landscape data
Landuse and pollutant
specific Data
C Meteorological
Data
Point
Sources
GIS
D
Windows interface
Landuse
Distribution
E
Core Model
HSPF
Stream
Data
F
1-43
Post Processing
NPSM Interface - Data Editor
1-44
NPSM Landuse Editor
1-45
NPSM Pollutant Selection
1-46
RF3 Watershed Delineation
1-47
RF3 Watershed Delineation
1-48
Nonpoint Source Modeling with RF3 Network
1-49
Reach Visualization Tool
1-50
Reach Visualization Tool
1-51
Reach Cross Section Visualization
1-52
Hydraulic Function Table Graph
1-53
Interpretation of Modeling
Results for Better Decisions

Graphing Capabilities
– Spatial and temporal representation of data
– Analysis of magnitude and significance of sources
– Model calibration (observed vs. modeled)

Statistical Functions
– Graphical representation of geometric and arithmetic means
– Statistics related to exceedances of a user-defined limit

Comparative analysis
– Evaluation of various management alternatives
– Developing Allocation Scenarios
– Consensus building with stakeholders
1-54
Graphing Capabilities
An example of Calibration
User-defined
x- and y- axis
scales
NPSM
output
USGS
data
Selected plot
1-55
Statistical Functions
Related to Threshold Exceedances
Plot of
geometric or
arithmetic
mean
Selected
statistical
function
User-defined
step length
and
exceedance
limit
1-56
Table of
exceedance
information
Comparative Analysis
For developing Allocation Scenarios
Output from
1st
simulation
Output from
2nd
simulation
1-57
Load
reduction
for selected
landuse
BASINS Models continued

QUAL2E
–
–
–
–
–
1-58
Low flow euthrophication modeling
Point source impact evaluation
BOD/DO, nutrients, bacteria
Steady State/Dynamic water quality modeling
Spatial representation of chemical concentrations in the
stream
QUAL2E Output
1-59
Future Directions - System

Redesign of System
– Lifecycle Development - System, Data, Models, etc.

DBMS
– Formalized Database Management Scheme maintainable, updateable, and reusable
– Default Data - physiographic and other hydrologic data
– Management of all spatial and non-spatial data;
– Away from flat files, towards RDBMS and in some
instances ODBMS
1-60
Future Directions - Tools

Pursuit of a client/server architecture
– “Partitioning of labor”

Component-based approach on the client
– Development of discrete tools that can be extended
– Modular and maintainable software construction

Emphasis on Better Data Management and Reuse
– Build capacity to address long term needs
– Minimize effects of employee turnover and learning curve
– Move modeling investigations towards a “production
environment”
1-61
Future Directions - New Models

Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT)

Modified Version of Generalized Watershed
Loading Function (GWLF) Model

Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code (EFDC)
Model
1-62
Future Directions
Standardized Data Interchange
Spatial Data Preprocessing
GIS
Tools
• Watershed Delineation
• Reach Network
• Soils Extraction
• Land Cover Extraction
• Other (physical aspect, slope)
• Meteorologic
SWAT
NPSM
QUAL2E
GWLF
1-63
Future Directions
Standardized Output Processing
SWAT
NPSM
Output
Manager
QUAL2E
GWLF
1-64
• Time series analysis
• Source significance
• Investigate alternatives
• Comparative analysis
SWAT Main Interface
1-65
Primary Watershed and Reach Delineation Tool:
Specify DEM Source
Superimpose RF-x Layer
Threshold to control
drainage density
Modify sub-watershed
outlets
Derive spatial attributes
required for modeling!
1-66
Results from Sample Watershed Delineation:
1-67
Sample Land Cover
1-68
Sample STATSGO Soil Polygons
1-69
Interface to SWAT model populated automatically:
Model Interface
automatically
populated with
GIS outputs
1-70
Add Point Sources & Reservoirs
1-71
Define Landuse and Soil Characteristics
1-72
GWLF

Based on the original model by Haith, D., Mandel,
R., and Wu, R. (Cornell, 1992).

Represents an intermediate step to continuous
simulation watershed models like HSPF and
SWAT.

Being modified to simulate loadings of bacteria,
in addition to flow, sediment, and nutrients.
1-73
GWLF Tool Features

Model being rewritten in Java (Javabeans).

Relational Database Management System
(RDBMS) to manage all data.

Postprocessor to visualize model outputs in
several different presentation styles.

Model GUI will allow user to enter project related
information.

Automated report generation tool (inputs, results,
scenarios, comparative results and discussion
points).
1-74
1-75
EFDC Toolkit Basic Goals

Create a suite of tools to facilitate multi-dimensional
hydrodynamic & water quality modeling analyses.

Minimize labor intensive activities.

Reinforce good modeling practice.

Provide a robust data management scheme to
maximize the reuse and sharing of data.

Facilitate team approach to modeling investigations.
1-76
EFDC Toolkit Features:

Open client/server architecture.

GIS neutral.

Targeted to MS WindowsR and NTR .

Component-based architecture (Java Swing).

GUI for grid generator and interface to EFDC.

Post-processor for visualizing model output.

RDBMS to manage all aspects of model input data eventually to be migrated to open ODBMS.

Model-to-Model linkages (HSPF -> EFDC).
1-77
EFDC Toolkit

Three principal components:
– GUI interface to EFDC grid generator to setup
physical domain
– GUI interface to EFDC model
– Visualization tool
1-78
EFDC Toolkit
1-79
Data Shoreline Import facility
1-80
Grid Specification
1-81
Generated Cartesian Grid Scheme
1-82
Imported Bathymetric Data and Editing
1-83
Processed Bathymetric Data
1-84
Final Grid Scheme Exported to Text File
1-85
Conclusion

We need to promote better tool organization and
reusability, component interchange, and
standardized data exchange formats.

Strive for open client/server, component-based
architectures.

RDBMS to manage all aspects of model input
data - eventually to be migrated to open ODBMS.

Model-to-Model linkages (HSPF -> EFDC).

Move modeling towards a more industrialized
process while maintaining quality of analyses.
1-86
www.epa.gov/ost/BASINS
1-87