ABPmer has been commissioned by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to develop a 3D water quality model of the Forth Estuary. The model, once validated, will provide SEPA with a suitable tool to assess options to address and mitigate water quality issues as they arise.
As Scotland’s environmental regulator, SEPA has a duty to protect and improve the environment. A specific requirement under WFD is that good ecological status (or potential, for heavily-modified water bodies such as the upper/middle Forth estuary) is achieved. To help ensure that the environmental objective of good ecological potential/status is met in a cost-efficient manner, SEPA is seeking to develop a calibrated and validated, 3-dimensional water quality model of the Forth Estuary.
This model will be used to identify the factors contributing to low dissolved oxygen in the upper estuary and investigate potential measures to improve water quality while at the same time enhancing the understanding of the processes at work in the upper estuary.
Bill Cooper, Managing Director at ABPmer said: “ABPmer is pleased to be able to assist SEPA in their management of the Forth Estuary. Water quality in the estuary has improved in recent decades, due primarily to developments in sewage treatment and the reduction of industrial discharges. Nevertheless, a number of environmental pressures remain, particularly a Dissolved Oxygen sag in the upper estuary which has the potential to adversely impact on water quality and fish populations in the upper estuary.”
Alan Hill, SEPA OceanMet specialist said: “While the water quality of the Forth estuary is improving, a number of environmental pressures remain, particularly the risk of low oxygen levels in the upper estuary during summer. SEPA will use this model to improve our understanding of these issues, and to develop measures to address them in a cost-efficient and effective manner.”
ABPmer is a leading provider of marine environmental consultancy services to regulators, coastal, energy, marine industry, ports and third sector. Its experienced modelling team provides a comprehensive service to support hydraulic investigations of river, estuary, coastal and marine systems, offering descriptions of flows, waves, sediment transport and water quality.
ABPmer will be working with Coastal Science Ltd to deliver this water quality model.
Dredging Today Staff, March 26, 2012