Optimal Water-Quality Management for Houston Ship Channel
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The results of this research indicate that savings can be obtained through the application of systems analysis and optimization methods to water quality management problems of the Houston Ship Channel. A finite-difference, steady-state mathematical model was employed to predict summer dissolved oxygen profiles resulting from wastewater discharges and other influences for a one-dimensional, homogeneous estuarine system. Two optimization models, implicit enumeration and a nonlinear programming algorithm, were utilized to find least-cost patterns of waste discharges which would produce specified dissolved oxygen improvement profiles throughout the estuary. An equitable tax and bounty system was developed to compensate for cost inequities arising from the least-cost solutions and to allocate the resulting savings among waste dischargers. These allocated optimum solutions produced moderate to substantial savings, depending on existing estuarine conditions.