Dr. Thad Scott and Dr. Steve Patterson have submitted a draft copy of their lake modeling and TMDL report to the PVIA Watershed Committee for review. Dr. Patterson presented results from the report to the full PVIA Board of Trustees at their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday night, September 5, 2017.
This report is a culmination of a long process and a lot of work. The computer modeling project itself began three years ago, and collecting data on which the model was built began seven years ago. The computer model of Wister Lake’s physical and ecological processes was used to simulate reductions in the quantities of phosphorus and sediment entering the lake, and how the lake would respond to those changes.
Model simulations show that the annual load of phosphorus entering the lake needs to be reduced by 78% and the sediment load by 71% in order for the lake to meet Oklahoma Water Quality Standards. These needed reductions are obviously large, and won’t be achieved overnight. Rather, they will be achieved slowly, a few percent a year, over the next several decades. The report establishes the goal we need to work toward.
Fortunately, the model also shows that incremental reductions will benefit the lake–we don’t have to wait for the full reduction in order to see improvements. For example, for every percent reduction in the phosphorus entering the lake, there is a corresponding reduction in the average amount of algae in the lake.
Once the report has been reviewed and approved by both PVIA and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, it will then be released to the general public. Stay tuned.