Model Description

The Watershed Analysis Risk Management Framework (WARMF) is a watershed model and decision support system which simulates the physical, chemical, and biological processes in a watershed and provides scientific information to stakeholders. It is built around an intuitive point and click map which provides easy access to model inputs and outputs. WARMF is used to address a wide range of water quantity and quality issues including determining the source of water quality impairment and potential solutions, understanding climate change impacts, watershed stewardship, and real-time management.

WARMF has a comprehensive simulation engine which simulates watershed physical processes on a daily or shorter time step. Water volume and a suite of approximately 40 water quality constituents are tracked from precipitation and dry deposition through vegetation canopy, land surface, soil layers, river segments, and stratified reservoirs. Each land use is defined by many natural and anthropogenic characteristics such as vegetative cover, productivity, impervious area, and irrigation. Conventional water quality constituents simulated in WARMF include nutrients, pH, common ions, organic carbon, dissolved oxygen, suspended sediment, and phytoplankton. The flexible modeling framework is capable of simulating trace constituents such as pesticides, mercury, selenium, arsenic, and other heavy metals. A bioenergetics model within WARMF calculates the bioaccumulation of constituents like mercury through the food chain.

WARMF has advanced tools in its graphical user interface to provide information to stakeholders. Those tools identify the contributions of pollutant loading from geographic areas and land uses so stakeholders can identify problems, formulate alternatives, and reach consensus on an alternative that is scientifically sound and politically acceptable to all parties concerned.