Management of Phosphorus and Sediment Loads to Cayuga Lake
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A 2009 report by Haith et al. described the application of the GWLF watershed model to provide a baseline estimate of nutrient and sediment loads entering Cayuga Lake. The report estimated nitrogen loads to have fallen by about 10-15% and phosphorus loads to have remained essentially unchanged. Although the current water quality of Cayuga Lake is commonly categorized as good, previous studies have suggested that sediment and phosphorus inputs may lead to problems in the future (Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, 2000). The objective of this design project is to develop a management plan for reducing mean phosphorus and sediment loads to Cayuga Lake by at least 20% each. This plan will be balanced, in the sense that it will recommend methods to reduce phosphorus and sediment loads from agricultural and urban runoff, point sources, and septic tank loads. I have focused on ways to reduce phosphorus loads, assuming that a 20% reduction in phosphorus loads should result in at least a 20% reduction in sediment loads. After presenting my recommendations, I will show their modeled effectiveness and provide costs estimates associated with each practice.
phosphorus; Cayuga Lake; sediment; nutrients