Watershed Management Modeling

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was tasked with reducing sediment loading to the Great Lakes. Hydrologic, hydraulic, and sediment modeling systems were developed over four states and delivered to local agencies for soil conservation and river improvements.

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USACE - Detroit, Buffalo and Chicago Districts
Great Lakes
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Great Lakes

Project Highlights

For each individual watershed, a unique system integrating various watershed, hydraulic, and sediment transport models was developed.


  • Systems included hydrology, soil erosion, river hydraulics, hydrodynamics, sediment transport, and sedimentation in harbours
  • Workshops, stakeholder management, and end-user training
  • 14 watersheds, ranging from 8 mi2 to 8,600 mi2
  • Re-creation of historic sediment budgets

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Project Challenges

  • Complex physical processes had to be represented in large watersheds.
  • Commercial models unavailable or unsuitable for many aspects of the studies.
  • Each watershed has different challenges and different stakeholder needs.
  • Address complex processes with a lay audience.

Baird Solutions

  • Detailed model review, testing, calibration, and validation, and unique combinations of model approaches.
  • Custom modeling from 1D (Channel Stability Tool) through complex 3D hydrodynamic models (MISED).
  • Unique solutions were provided for local stakeholders and interaction with stakeholder groups.
  • Custom software and user interface tools presented processes in over 20 workshops with local groups.

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