AQUA TERRA Consultants
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Development of a Model Selection Tool for Hydrodynamic, Runoff, and Fate and Transport Models

Client: HydroQual, Inc., Mahwah, New Jersey
Funding: Water Environment Research Foundation, Alexandria, VA

In order to assist its member subscribers in making the appropriate choice of water quality modeling tools for their specific problems, the Water Environment Research Federation provided funding for a study to assess the availability and use of hydrodynamic, runoff, and fate and transport models. AQUA TERRA Consultants teamed with HydroQual and Camp, Dresser and McKee to perform a comprehensive evaluation of currently available models.

Upon completion of the model evaluation, AQUA TERRA developed a Visual Basic application called the WERF Model Selection Tool. The tool considers all of the approximately 150 models identified jointly by the Project Team and the WERF PSC. Model evaluation capabilities were organized using the model classes, with selection criteria varying somewhat from class to class. A "checkbox" approach to identifying models was implemented. Users are asked to assign a yes or no designation to each of the selection criteria used to characterize the models in a particular class. As the checkbox designations are made, the tool continually updates a list of models that satisfy the requirements indicated by the user. By either tightening or loosening the model requirements, the user is able to identify an appropriate number of models for more detailed consideration. Model descriptions are available within the decision tool for all models; the model descriptions provide an initial source for additional information, and at the same time provide guidance on how to obtain technical assistance and/or more detailed documentation.

AQUA TERRA also provided an instructor for a WERF-sponsored workshop that offered an overview of available models and training on using the model selection tool to attendees of the WEFTEC 2000 Conference in Anaheim, California (October 2000).

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