Modelling in Carpenter

Water management modelling: carpenter and seton lake reservoirs, british columbia

Statistical models and a hydrodynamic model called CE-QUAL-W2 both using empirical data from two large water storage reservoirs (Carpenter and Seton) are being developed and linked for use in exploring the sensitivity of biological communities to water management decisions. There are three statistical models for each reservoir: Accrual of attached algae, phytoplankton production, and zooplankton biomass. Most important attributes driving attached algae and phytoplankton production were photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), temperature, and nutrient concentrations in both reservoirs with turbidity from glacial outwash also being important in Carpenter Reservoir. The zooplankton were most sensitive to temperature, phytoplankton biomass and turbidity. These models showed 70-90% fit to the data which is very high for complex systems. Much of this has to do with unique and well controlled methods of measurement.  The CE-QUAL-W2 model is performing well with very close simulations to the empirical physical and chemical conditions. Linking of the statistical models to CE-QUAL-W2 will now occur to explore consequences of flow management decisions at the various dams that control flow for hydroelectric power production, fish populations, and other water uses in the Carpenter – Seton system. Much of this exploration will look at the degree of change that flow management decisions can have on biological values over the naturally occurring glacial outwash hydrology.


Client:                   St’at’imc First Nation

Funding:              BC Hydro

Sector:                  Reservoirs and lakes

Status:                  Ongoing