Using Mathematical Modeling Tackling the Drought

Student: Zidong Yu
Table: ENV3
Experimentation location: School, Home
Regulated Research (Form 1c): No
Project continuation (Form 7): No

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Project files

Research Plan:

Material preparation: Choosing the experiment subject: Mead Lake, a Colorado River reservoir on the Nevada-Arizona border, is the largest water reservoir in the United States. In the summer of 2021, Lake Mead registered its lowest level on record since its initial filling in the 1930s.

Step 1: Set up the function of the volume of water in Lake Mead. 

Step 2: Modeling the water level and elevation of Lake Mead.

Step 3: Modeling and planning of wastewater Recycling.

Step 4: Providing Plans about water recycling

Step 5: Making conclusion and summary the future work


Questions and Answers

1. What was the major objective of your project and what was your plan to achieve it? 

My major objective is to predict the drought period of Lakes. I first need to collect the data of historical water level of the lake. Then using those data define what the drought level is. And building the mathematical model to predict the next drought period.

       a. Was that goal the result of any specific situation, experience, or problem you encountered?  


       b. Were you trying to solve a problem, answer a question, or test a hypothesis?


2. What were the major tasks you had to perform in order to complete your project?

Building the time series models to predict the water level in each year.

       a. For teams, describe what each member worked on.


3. What is new or novel about your project?

Building the time series model to help people predict the drought period.

       a. Is there some aspect of your project's objective, or how you achieved it that you haven't done before?


       b. Is your project's objective, or the way you implemented it, different from anything you have seen?


       c. If you believe your work to be unique in some way, what research have you done to confirm that it is?

Because drought is really hard to be detected and predicted, for now, there is few methods that can be used to predict the drought. My model could be really helpful to the scientists and the people in frequent drought areas to predict next drought period.

4. What was the most challenging part of completing your project?

The most challenging part is time limit. Because I started the Project late, there are some improvement that I can make, for example, applying more models and to see which one fit the situation best. 

      a. What problems did you encounter, and how did you overcome them?

When I first time came up with the project, my goal was to build the general model for all the lakes. But considering the situation that the different lakes are suffering different kind of droughts, I was not able to do the modeling. However, I later simplified the research goad into building the model for specific lake. The research plans then were way easier for me to make.

      b. What did you learn from overcoming these problems?

Always come up with a big idea, but we need to divide it into several small problems. That is the right way to solve any problem.

5. If you were going to do this project again, are there any things you would you do differently the next time?

I would go to Lake Mead in person to see if there is anymore factors that could be helpful or influential to my project.

6. Did working on this project give you any ideas for other projects? 

Yes. I am thinking about building the Model for all the Lakes and water Resources in the United States, not only limited to Lake Mead.

7. How did COVID-19 affect the completion of your project?

Because my project did not need too much field research, COVID-19 did not affect my project.