HPC MSU

Publication Abstract

. Apalachicola Bay Salinity and Water Quality, Expert Report of Dr. William H. McAnally, State of Florida V. State of Georgia, No. 142 Original.

McAnally, W. H., Sanborn, S. C., Lu, S., & Wallen, C. M. (2016). . Apalachicola Bay Salinity and Water Quality, Expert Report of Dr. William H. McAnally, State of Florida V. State of Georgia, No. 142 Original. Knoxville, TN: Dynamic Solutions, LLC.

Abstract

The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of past, projected, and hypothetical scenarios of upstream water consumption on average salinity and water quality in Apalachicola Bay. Conclusions from statistical and physics-based numerical modeling were: 1. For Apalachicola River discharge scenarios representing Georgia’s consumptive use in 1992 (Scenario 1992), 2011 (Baseline), projected 2040 (Scenario 2040), and Conservation Scenario (Baseline plus 1000 cfs in the dry season) with constant mean sea level; modeled salinity exhibited both positive and negative differences, all less than 1 (±0.3) psu magnitude in average dry season and monthly salinity. These differences are small in comparison with fluctuations of ±7 to 14 psu (1 to 2 standard deviations) in observed average daily salinity. 2. Sea level rise has increased salinities in Apalachicola Bay since at least 2002. It will have an increasing effect on future Bay salinities. Sea level rise-induced salinity increases of 1 to 4 psu (±1 psu) are projected by 2040 at central Bay locations. An accelerated rate of sea level rise is possible, with a correspondingly greater increase in salinity. 3. The flow variations among the scenarios will not significantly affect dissolved oxygen in Apalachicola Bay.