Evaluating A Simple Model Of Wastewater Transport In The Ocean Along Coastal Communities

Presenter: Amaya Singleton1
Co-Author(s): -
Advisor(s): Dr. Martha Whitaker
1Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona

Panapto Presentation Video
Poster PDF
Poster Session 1

The Tijuana River has become a focus point for transboundary pollution between the US and Mexico. The EPA has identified limitations in the current wastewater infrastructure, as well as identified another spillway, and has committed to implementing solutions. When trying to manage coastal water quality, highly complex models may be too computationally expensive to explore all the scenarios and conditions that decision makers would like to understand. Under these circumstances a simple model could be utilized instead to complement more complex ones. Here we test the performance of a highly simplified model of the coastal pollution transport near the Tijuana river-mouth, to see how well it reproduces ten years of beach testing data. We utilize a one dimensional advection-diffusion model of coastal pollutant transport driven by Tijuana River gauge measurements, a fixed input from Punta Bandera’s Wastewater treatment plant, and buoy-based measurements of the California Current. We then evaluate our model’s performance by comparing the outputs with the ten years of beach water quality data collected by San Diego’s Public Utilities department. In trying to determine the most cost effective way to address this transboundary pollution issue, a simple model like ours can be useful because it’s ease-of-use and low computation expense allows users to explore a wide-range of scenarios and policy interventions.

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