To evaluate the potential impacts of future climate change on a temperate reservoir, I used a calibrated water quality and hydrodynamic model validated using three years of data (2007-2009) from Deer Creek Reservoir (Utah). I evaluated the changes due to altered air temperatures, inflow rates, and nutrient loads that might occur under Global Climate Change (GCC). I developed methods to study GCC on reservoirs. I produced Average Water Temperature Plots, Stratification Plots, and Total Concentration Plots. Average Water Temperature Plots show the sensitivity of the water temperature to various parameters. Stratification Plots quantify stratification length and strength as well as ice-cover periods. Total Concentration Plots analyze the reservoir as a whole concerning water quality parameters. Increasing air temperature increased the water temperature, lengthened stratification time, increased stratification strength, decreased the ice-cover period, decreased the total algae concentration, decreased the flows, and caused peak nutrient concentrations to occur earlier. Decreasing flows caused increased water temperature, shorter stratification periods, weaker stratification, and increased nutrient concentrations. Increasing phosphate concentrations caused increases in total algae, dissolved oxygen, and phosphate concentrations. Variations in Nitrate-Nitrite concentrations did not influence the tested parameters. I found that the reservoir is only sensitive to these changes during the spring and summer. The tools which I developed were used to run the model scenarios, organize the data, and plot the results. They can be used on other reservoirs and for other water quality parameters.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





climate change, water quality, temperate reservoir, CE-QUAL-W2