The main goals of this workshop, held in February 2016, were to assess optimization as a potential solution to address certain challenges in the future planning for the Partnership’s 2017 Mid-point Assessment, the development of Phase III Watershed Implementation Plans (WIP) and 2018-2019 milestone planning.
While the existing suite of tools through the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) partnership aides in the development of an implementation plan to readily accomplish load reduction goals of the total maximum daily load (TMDL), developing an adaptive plan that is equitable, minimizes costs, and takes advantage of potential co-benefits is not currently possible. Additionally, models that can identify potential strategies for efficiently advancing multiple goals and objectives of the broader Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement are needed. Optimization may provide decision makers with a methodology that provides solutions to the above challenges, as well as accounting for the effects of best management practices (BMPs) in variable and complex watersheds while achieving multiple goals. Therefore, the main goals of this workshop were to: 1) review the state of optimization modeling approaches (and their strengths and weaknesses), 2) examine real world applications of optimization in a water quality context, and 3) examine the capacity to integrate an optimization engine with existing tools developed by the CBP to guide WIP development.
Workshop participants reached consensus on several key objectives of a Bay optimization system that were applicable to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and the broader Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement goals, including: