Northwater was retained to develop a custom integrated watershed-based model to support the state government in evaluating and mitigating pollution loading and runoff in the Illinois and Kaskaskia River watersheds (80,902 square kilometers). The two watersheds are known as significant contributors to the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia zone.
The custom watershed model is unique in that it is spatially based, customizable and easy to use. The model is designed to accommodate a variety of water quality constituents and estimate total loading and load reductions resulting from proposed mitigation and implementation projects.
The model is being used to target conservation practices and quantify load reduction benefits from conservation implementation through the Conservation Reserve Program, the Conservation Reserve and Enhancement Program, and EPA Section 319 funds. The model is being utilized by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the US Fish & Wildlife Service and by conservation field staff at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.