A coupled watershed-reservoir modeling system was applied to the Lake Waco reservoir and watershed to test possible sources of seasonal excess nutrient concentrations in Lake Waco. The Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used for modeling watershed production of water and nutrients. This model included small lakes and dairies in the watershed, located spatially using geographic data. For the reservoir, the 2-dimensional, hydrodynamic model CE-Qual-W2 was used with inputs derived from the SWAT simulations. Calibration of the models was based on observed hydrographic information and stream and reservoir nutrient data. The relationship between predicted and observed stream flow values for the North Bosque River, the major tributary to the reservoir, were highly correlated (r2= 0.86) for the calibration period 1997-1998. Predicted daily nutrient values near the inflow of the North Bosque into Lake Waco reservoir were variable but similar to previously estimated annual loading values. Comparison of predicted water quality characteristics from the CE-Qual-W2 model with observed values showed acceptably reliable correspondence seasonally. Chlorophyll-a was used as the main measure for calibration accuracy due to its importance for reservoir management and was predicted to within 6.6% based on the mean percent error or an absolute root mean square error of 9.76 μg/L of observed values. The prediction of stream values from the SWAT model and reservoir nutrient concentrations were sensitive and robust for the next phase of the Comprehensive Lake Waco Study, which includes evaluation of multiple watershed and reservoir management options.
- Lake Waco