Date of Award:

5-2020

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

David K. Stevens

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Mac McKee

Third Advisor:

L. Niel Allen

Abstract

This dissertation presents a set of approaches to help address water quality problems related to total phosphorus loads in water bodies. Water quality degradation is caused by many nonpoint sources such as agricultural runoff, fertilizers applications, and bank erosion. Three studies present methodologies for water quality protection from degradation in watersheds. The first study demonstrates the application of a watershed simulation tool that can quantify flows in the watershed, the amount of released pollutants and identify the areas contributing to the pollutants’ release in the watershed. The second study presents a simple combination tool that can pair potential management practices with the identified nonpoint sources areas to generate cost-effective combinations of management practices for reducing excess phosphorus loading to water bodies. The last study develops an optimization framework that recommends the area optimum sizes that are available for implementing management practices. These studies were applied to real-case problems to reduce excess nutrients within the Lower Bear River Watershed in northern Utah and expected to improve the management of nutrient control plans under the allocated funds.

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