Integrated management of two complex water resource ecosystems in eastern Connecticut: Simulations and field measurements

Date of Completion

January 2006


Hydrology|Environmental Sciences




With a growing economy and population rise in Connecticut, there is an inevitable need for supply of potable water to the existing and future residents of the State. Located in eastern Connecticut, the Mansfield Hollow Lake (MHL) and Willimantic Reservoir (WR) provide drinking water for the city of Willimantic and the neighboring towns. Watershed management schemes were investigated by studying the eutrophication patterns of MHL and WR. To achieve the integrated water management (IWM) goals for the MHL watershed, extensive field sampling and the Bathtub simulation model were used. The Bathtub model is capable of simulating different scenarios of nutrient loadings for IWM planning. Measured concentrations of nutrients and other water quality parameters were used to calibrate the Bathtub model and validate its output data. The effect of drought and wet periods on phosphorus and nitrogen loading budgets and the eutrophication patterns in MHL and WR were investigated with the Bathtub model. ^ The Fenton River is one of the three major rivers flowing into MHL. Twenty-five to 35% of the University of Connecticut and the Town of Storrs water demand is supplied from a well-field located on the western banks of the Fenton River. With the aid of a GIS-based simulation framework (Argus-ONE), the effect of varying pumping rates on streamflow in Fenton River during drought periods was investigated. The role of bedrock contribution to aquifer recharge was studied with the aid of bedrock monitoring wells, existing geological information for the Fenton River drainage basin, and mathematical simulations. Different management scenarios were investigated and a scenario is presented that takes into account all existing aquifer recharge sources and assists the University in sustaining its population growth and the town water supply while minimizing the impacts on streamflow and fish habitat.^