Water Environment Research Foundation Releases Tool to Help Communities Protect Local Water Bodies

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WERF has released the Nutrient Modeling Toolbox to help communities protect their local waterways

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) has released a new tool that can help communities protect their local waterways. Named the Nutrient Modeling Toolbox (NMT), the software and associated guidance will help communities, state agencies, and permit holders that are involved with setting limits on the nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphorus) entering local lakes, springs, rivers, estuaries and coastal waters. As numeric nutrient criteria are developed by local governments, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has defined three categories of approaches: 1) Reference Condition Approach, 2) Stressor-response Analysis, and 3) Process-based (Mechanistic) Modeling. The U.S. EPA has provided guidance for developing nutrient criteria using the reference condition and stressor-response approaches; however, similar guidance is not currently available for the modeling approach.

This new WERF research report presents guidance and tools to use models to set waterbody-specific nutrient goals, including Numeric Nutrient Criteria and allowable nutrient loadings. It provides a mechanism that can quantitatively link nutrient loads to water quality and ecological response indicators on a site-specific basis. It allows the user to evaluate and select a model that recognizes a waterbody’s responses to nutrients depending on site-specific characteristics such as morphology, hydrology, turbidity, temperature, and other available data.

To obtain a free copy of the NMT visit http://www.werf.org, or for more information, contact Program Director Lola Olabode at lolabode(at)werf(dot)org for additional information.


The Water Environment Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization formed in 1989, is America's leading independent scientific research organization dedicated to wastewater and stormwater issues.

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