Least-cost analysis for the Houston Ship Channel




Hays, A.J., Jr.
Gloynam E.F.

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The analysis showed that comprehensive planning can be enhanced through the discriminate use of optimization techniques, as expected. Computational results indicate significant reduction in waste treatment cost for the Upper Houston Ship Channel can be obtained through the use of systems analysis and optimization techniques. Resulting savings vary, depending on the prevailing estuarine conditions and the dissolved oxygen (DO) levels required for water quality improvement during critical summer conditions. Saving are inversely related to the dissolved oxygen improvements required. As DO requirements are increased beyond a '%' critical '%' value, the least-costs incurred in obtaining these requirements show a sharp increase. This break-point feature of the results emphasizes the fact that high water quality levels are purchased at premium prices and should be considered in comprehensive planning for water resources management. Results showed that nonlinear programming can be successfully applied to least-cost estuarine water quality problems, a unique feature of the research.


pgs. 269-296


cost analysis, water quality, resource management, waste treatment