Mathematical Models as Tools for Impoundment Management

Mathematical models allow scientists to express complex processes in the form of concise formulas. The information included in models is generally confined to a limited set of variables selected for the problem at hand. There is presently no general model for all purposes. The most effective models have typically been simple and focused on particular parts of systems and apply only to one or a small number of sites. Management of water quality in impoundments is highly subject to ecological behavior that can be complex and difficult to predict, so mathematical models, computer simulations and decision-supporting expert systems are seen as highly desirable tools for management. Many types ofmodels are available and are used in the water industry. Primary categories of such models include:

• simple static calculation models,

• complex dynamic prescriptive models,

• geographical information systems (GISs),

• management optimization models,

• decision support systems (DSSs).

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