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Impact Analysis and Hydrologic Modeling of the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint Rivers

Client: Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)
Location: Northern Florida, USA

Challenge. Protect Florida’s interests in the water resources of the Apalachicola River and Bay

Project-Impact-Analysis-ACF-RiversSolution. INTERA has provided modeling and statistical analysis to support the development of a revised alternative operations plan for the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint (ACF) rivers. Our personnel have represented the FDEP in discussions between the states of Florida and Georgia in an effort to ensure that the water resources of Florida’s Apalachicola River and Apalachicola Bay, and the region’s economic interests and environmental resources, are protected. INTERA led applications of a RESSIM model, developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to simulate reservoir operations on the ACF rivers, to evaluate operation alternatives for enhancing flow in the Apalachicola River. Alternative model simulations were used to demonstrate how environmental regulations and policy requirements can be met. We also performed statistical analysis of the observed flows used to define the boundary conditions of the model. This analysis showed that declining trends were present in the data, and that these trends are directly attributable to anthropogenic changes within the basin that include groundwater pumping stresses and the construction of farm reservoirs. INTERA provided training to personnel from the Northwest Florida Water Management District in performing simulations with the RESSIM operations model. We have also conducted simulations using MODFLOW and PRMS models to investigate the decline in flows entering Florida from Georgia, and used remote sensing tools to analyze historic changes in the basin that includes the ACF rivers.