International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Study
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The Shared Vision Model

The Shared Vision Model is the name of the computer model developed in the context of this Study to integrate the results from each of the technical work groups in one place. With this Model various regulation plans could be run through an evaluation process and the results compared between interests and locations. The Shared Vision Model connects all Study research to the guidelines the Study Board developed to identify the best alternative plans, and it integrates plan formulation and evaluation so that new regulation plans can be designed and immediately evaluated. The fact that specific mathematical connections had to be made between research products and the questions the Study Board wanted to address helped ensure that research funding was well spent and that important questions did not go unanswered. The Shared Vision Model creates a hypothetical link between the levels and flows produced by a regulation plan and the impacts of those levels and flows. The Shared Vision Model was built from scratch by the entire Study Team, enabling everyone involved to understand how actions taken to affect one part of the system or one interest affect all other stakeholders.

Abbreviations

STELLA – Model programming software

FEPS – Flood and Erosion Prediction System

SRM (RSPM) – St. Lawrence River Model

IERM – Integrated Ecological Response Model

H&H – Hydrology and Hydraulics

Env – Environment

Hydro – Hydropower

Nav – Commercial Navigation

Rec – Recreational Boating

M&I – Municipal, Industrial and Domestic Water Uses

The Shared Vision Model developed for this study is actually composed of a pyramid of four models used to produce estimates of plan performance. They include the STELLA model, with dynamically linked Excel input files, the Flood and Erosion and Prediction System (FEPS), the St. Lawrence River Model (SRM) and the Integrated Ecological Response Model (IERM). The STELLA portion includes all of the system hydrology and all of the performance indicator relationships to water levels and flows for recreational boating, commercial navigation, hydropower, municipal and industrial water uses and lower St. Lawrence River flooding. FEPS estimates the potential flood, erosion and shore protection maintenance impacts on Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River. The St. Lawrence River Model (SRM) calculates the impacts of erosion and shore protection maintenance on the lower St. Lawrence River coastal interests. The Integrated Ecological Response Model is the environmental wing of the Shared Vision Model and calculates expected responses of environmental performance indicators to a regulation plan. The Control Panel and Data Warehouse are Excel files that store and feed data to the other models. The Board Room is an Excel file where all plan results are presented using tables and graphs.