Estimated Effects on Water Quality of Lake Houston from Interbasin Transfer of Water from the Trinity River, Texas




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The City of Houston is considering the transfer of water from the Trinity River to Lake Houston (on the San Jacinto River) to alleviate concerns about adequate water supplies for future water demands. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the City of Houston, conducted a study to estimate the effects on the water quality of Lake Houston from the transfer of Trinity River water. A water-quality model, CE-QUAL-W2, was used to simulate six water-quality properties and constituents for scenarios of interbasin transfer of Trinity River water. Three scenarios involved the transferred Trinity River water augmenting streamflow in the East Fork of Lake Houston, and three scenarios involved the transferred water replacing streamflow from the West Fork of the San Jacinto River. The estimated effects on Lake Houston were determined by comparing volume-weighted daily mean water temperature, phosphorous, ammonia nitrogen, nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen, algal biomass, and dissolved oxygen simulated for each of the transfer scenarios to simulations for a base dataset




43F Problem-Solving Information For State & Local Governments: Environment, 48B Natural Resources & Earth Sciences: Natural Resource Management, 48G Natural Resources & Earth Sciences: Hydrology & Limnology, 91A Urban & Regional Technology & Development: Environmental Management & Planning, Algae, Ammonia, Biomass, Color, Computerized simulation, Dissolved oxygen, Dissolved solids, Houston, Investigations, Lake Houston, Nitrates, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorous, Quality, River Basins, San Jacinto River, Simulation, Streamflow, Temperature, Texas, Trinity River, United States, Water, Water quality, Water resources, Water temperature, Water transfer, Water utilization, Withdrawal