Dr. Thad Scott and Dr. Steve Patterson have submitted the final version of the Lake Wister Water Quality Modeling and TMDL report to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. The final report was reviewed by PVIA and ODEQ and revised in keeping with their comments. The next steps in the TMDL process are ODEQ’s. They will begin the process of adopting the load reduction requirements determined through the modeling process into the Oklahoma water quality plan.
You can read or download the report from this link.
This report is a culmination of a long process and a lot of work. Data collection for the model began over seven years ago. The computer modeling project itself began three 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.