Science and Nature on Tap with Dr. Glenn Benoy
Dr. Glenn Benoy
Senior Water Quality and Ecosystem Adviser
International Joint Commission
Lakes and rivers straddle major sections of the Canada-United States (US) border. The International Joint Commission (IJC) is known to many who live and work along the St.Lawrence River due to operations of the Moses-Saunders Dam. In addition to their role
in management of water levels through the control structures in the Great Lakes Basin, they play a central role in the provision of advice and recommendations to the governments of Canada and the United States on water quality. Dr. Glenn Benoy is the Senior Water Quality and Ecosystem Advisor to the Canadian Section of the IJC and is also a Fellow with the Canadian Rivers Institute (CRI). He
advises both the IJC and the CRI on the science and management of shared waters – lakes and rivers and their watersheds – between Canada and the United States. He holds a PhD from the University of Guelph and he was a postdoc at the University of Calgary
and the National Hydrology Research Centre in Saskatoon.
Eutrophication - the excessive enrichment of water bodies by nutrients - is a serious issue in shared waters across the Great Lakes. Due to excessive loading of nitrogen and phosphorus, many of these systems suffer from algal blooms and hypoxia.
To understand and predict water quality dynamics in shared basins, the IJC launched a first-of-its-kind binational watershed modelling project in partnership with the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Research Council (NRC).
The USGS SPARROW model is being used to relate observed long-term nutrient loads to nutrient sources and land-to-water delivery processes. Output from the models is being used in watershed management planning, to identify regions of high nutrient
contribution, to estimate changes in nutrient loading due to land use change and climate change, as well as to assist with the development of water quality objectives.
Dr. Benoy will speak on the context for this model development as well as the practical uses for a publicly available model visualization tool.
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