Water Quality Model, Illinois & Kaskaskia Watersheds

Project Description


Northwater was retained to develop a custom map-based water quality model to support the state government in evaluating and mitigating pollution loading and runoff in the Illinois and Kaskaskia River watersheds (80,902 square miles). The two watersheds are known as significant contributors to the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia zone.

The model was unique in that it is spatially based, customizable and easy to use. It was 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 implementation through the Conservation Reserve Program, the Conservation Reserve and Enhancement Program, and other program funds. It is being utilized by the Illinois EPA, the US Fish & Wildlife Service and by conservation field staff at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

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