Environmental Examples

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Brief Summaries of GoldSim Environmental Systems Modeling Applications

Central Arizona Project - Service Area Model

The Central Arizona Project (CAP) manages and delivers more than 1.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water to the most arid and populated regions of Central and Southern Arizona. As shortages on the Colorado River grow more likely, there is an increasing need for greater clarity on the scale of water challenges and planning uncertainties faced by CAP and its customers. To help address these challenges in an affordable and sustainable manner, CAP has been engaged in a systematic and coordinated effort to expand its planning and analytical capacity through the development of a GoldSim model in conjunction with a Geodatabase. This model helps broaden understanding of supply and demand, explores impacts of big picture phenomena on water use, and examines potential solutions to future challenges. Click on the link below to read more.

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A Phosphate Mine Water Model Using GoldSim

Mosaic Company is mining phosphate in central Florida, which is used for fertilizing crops throughout the world. GoldSim was used by Cardno to simulate water management at the mine and also account for nutrient levels in the water and soils. The main objectives of the model are to estimate the probability that the mine would need to discharge water from the mine and/or the nutrient levels would exceed regulation limits. The model takes into account the operations decision making at the various facilities and handling of materials and water. Initial results show the model accurately predicts discharge probabilities and levels by simulating the water management decisions throughout the mine.

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Long-Term Water Management Planning in California

Scientists and engineers from the State of California and CH2M Hill developed and applied a screening model, dubbed “CalLite,” to the state’s Central Valley, a hugely important agricultural center that provides almost half the produce consumed in the United States. CalLite simulated water conditions in the valley over an 82-year planning period, taking into consideration reservoir operations and storage options and providing a basis for analysis of alternative water management strategies.

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Probabilistic Simulation of Large Dam Operations for Water Supply and Flood Control

GoldSim was used to investigate alternative flood operations of Wivenhoe Dam and Somerset Dam located in Queensland Australia following major flooding in the Brisbane River in 2011. Thousands of flood events were generated stochastically, to provide comprehensive stress testing of the existing flood operations procedures of the dams. The approach was found to be valuable in the process of better understanding the ability of the dams to mitigate risk and also identified shortcomings in the conventional design approach to flood estimation.

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Simulating the Impact of Water Management Practices on Salmon Populations

The State of California wrestles with a number of complex water resource issues, one of which is sustaining and recovering its diverse fish populations. In order to model the impacts of California's water management strategies on the state's salmon populations, Cramer Fish Sciences used GoldSim to develop a salmon life cycle model. The model forecasted how small changes in various water projects would affect the current and future salmon populations.

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Water Rights Modeling for Eastern Utah Water Supply Projects

There has long been a need for new water development in the arid Uinta Basin of Eastern Utah. Currently, many areas are in short supply of water for M&I and agricultural uses. The Central Utah Water Conservancy District, Duchesne County WCD, and Uintah WCD collaborated to identify and evaluate alternatives to use water rights on the Uinta and Green Rivers to meet these increasing water demands. GoldSim software was used successfully by CH2M HILL to develop a water supply planning and water rights allocation tool that was used to assist the stakeholders in the decision making process for determining an appropriate development alternative. 

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Infectious Disease Transmission

The transfer of pathogens between patients and health care workers in a hospital is an important consideration in developing hospital policies and procedures in order to reduce the related incidences of infection. GoldSim was used to model the transfer of pathogens between patients and health care workers in a hospital. The model generated simulated outbreaks in hospital wards, where the onset, extent of spread, and control of the outbreak is a manifestation of natural variability and the impact of simulated control strategies.

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Environmental Assessment of a Diamond Mine

Before the DeBeers Snap Lake diamond mine was developed, an environmental assessment had to be completed and accepted by the regulatory agencies responsible for project approvals and licensing. GoldSim was used to assess the impacts of mining and site activities on site water quality. By dynamically modeling the physical and chemical processes associated with the movement of chemicals and sediments through the mine system, GoldSim helped to develop of an effective plan to manage water quality.

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Licensing of a Proposed Deep Repository for Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Waste

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) conducted investigations at Yucca Mountain to determine its suitability as a nuclear waste repository of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The Project used GoldSim to simulate the performance of the proposed radioactive waste repository over the next 10,000 years. GoldSim played a key role in the DOE's submission of a formal license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in June 2008.

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Health and Environmental Risk Assessment for a Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility

GoldSim modelers at Neptune and Company have developed a contaminant transport and regulatory compliance model of a radioactive waste disposal facility at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The model is a management system tool that supports health and environmental risk assessment and effective long-term management of the NTS low-level radioactive waste disposal facilities. The model includes transport of subsurface materials to the ground surface by burrowing animals and the transport of contamination to the surface by plants as well as the classical waterborne transport of radionuclides.

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Environmental Safety Case for a Low-Level Radioactive Waste Repository

Serco Energy provided support to the UK Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) near Drigg, Cumbria, in the production of its 2011 Environmental Safety Case (ESC).The GoldSim code was used to undertake a number of assessments in support of the ESC. These assessments included consideration of both radiological and non-radiological hazards, and two possible designs for the future vaults at the LLWR were considered. The assessment model included a detailed representation of the contaminant release and flows within the near field, and also implemented a sophisticated approach to the assessment of risks due to abstraction of water from a well.

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Water Supply System Feasibility Assessment

This application supported a technical and financial feasibility assessment for developing a new water supply system for a small city. The GoldSim model was used to investigate in system’s capacity, predict the water-quality of the delivered water, and track costs and schedule for construction and operation of the system.

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Radionuclide Fate and Transport Modeling at a Uranium Mine Site

A GoldSim model was developed to simulate the fate and transport of radionuclides from a uranium mining facility. The purpose of the model was to assess the impact of a proposed tailing disposal facility on groundwater conditions.  From the early phases of the project through detailed technical studies and ultimately to final refinement of the project proposal, GoldSim was used extensively to assess the performance of the facility (relative to regulatory water quality criteria) and direct alternative engineering designs for tailings and waste rock management at closure.

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Simulating Future Water Demand and Mitigation Requirements for a Growing Municipality

A GoldSim model was used to project the amount of water that would be required to mitigate for the combined fifty year growth demand from a new production well, and to meet instream flow requirements for a nearby river. Model results were used to assist in determining the quantity and timing of mitigation water purchases, and to facilitate negotiations with other stakeholders.

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Water Quality Modeling for a Proposed Water Supply Project

GoldSim was used to evaluate the feasibility of a water supply project in Canada involving diversion works on a river and water conveyance through pipelines and canals to the headwaters of several creeks. Water would subsequently be made available to the various end-users through existing and proposed canals, natural channels, water supply reservoirs and multi-use projects. Water quality was one of the key issues required to determine the feasibility of the project. GoldSim was used to support a water quality modelling study to assess the suitability of water provided by the proposed project for irrigation use.

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Coal Seam Gas Brine Management

Coal seam gas (CSG) is a natural gas consisting primarily of methane extracted from underground coal seams. CSG "production water" contains varying levels of salts. CSG water management focuses on the beneficial use of CSG water and the beneficial uses of salt. GoldSim was used to develop an adaptive coal seam gas brine management strategy for the collection and proper management of brine/salt for ultimate disposal/sequestration or beneficial use.

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Simulation of Animal Nutrition

In order to improve the quality of the cows' diet, GoldSim was used to simulate changes in the pasture chemical composition and their effects on the digestion by cows. In particular, the simulation aimed to replicate what happens in the forestomach of a lactating cow, and how the fermentation of the forage affects the amount of protein available to the cow for productive purposes.

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