Serving the worldwide water science community, RESPEC is pleased to announce the release of the latest Technical Note on water quality guidance, titled HSPF Water Quality Parameter and Calibration Guidance. This technical note provides in-depth information on specific water quality parameters and associated water quality calibration recommendations for the HSPF (Hydrologic Simulation Program – FORTRAN).

Download the latest BASINS Technical Note here.

A critical software modeling tool for improving the world’s water, the Hydrological Simulation Program–Fortran (HSPF) watershed model simulates the complete hydrology of a watershed, including in-stream hydraulics, reach network routing, and watershed and in-stream fate and transport processes for various pollutants and pollutant types. HSPF is used to evaluate alternative pollutant control scenarios, given that an accurate simulation of the baseline conditions of the watershed can be achieved. To reproduce the current condition of the watershed, a water quality modeler first calibrates the modeled flow and pollutant concentrations against available gauge flow and pollutant monitoring data.

This technical note was prepared by RESPEC under contract to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and led by Dr. Charles Regan, who recognized the need for making more water quality modeling and calibration information available to the HSPF user community. Dr. Regan is the work-assignment manager for MPCA. RESPEC, which was founded in 1969, is a global leader in geoscience, engineering, data, and integrated technology solutions for major industry sectors.

The information provided in the newly released technical note is analogous to the hydrology, hydraulics, and sediment parameter and calibration guidance prepared for EPA by AQUA TERRA Consultants and published in BASINS Technical Note #6 and Technical Note #8 (released in 2000 and 2006, respectively). The new material should be viewed as general guidance that will continue to evolve as the water quality modeling technology and databases continue to expand and improve.

This most recent Technical Note contains water quality calibration and parameter guidance that are derived from multiple, proficient HSPF modelers who provided insight, source data, and documents. Many foundational materials used to develop this technical note were those the RESPEC-MPCA project team had developed or acquired in-house (with AQUA TERRA and RESPEC) over the last 40 years. Significant contributions were also provided by various companies and individuals with extensive experience in HSPF water quality modeling in hundreds of watersheds both in the US and abroad.