Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)

Degree Granting Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Mark Ross, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mauricio Arias, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kenneth Trout, Ph.D.


Groundwater, Hydrologic Simulation Program-Fortran (HSPF) Model, Streamflow, Surface Runoff, Urbanization


Surface and groundwater conditions in west-central Florida are highly interactive, with shallow water table and sandy soil. Land use types including forests, agricultural areas, and urbanization affect water resources differently. Change in land use, associated with expanding the urban environment to support human needs, significantly impacts surface water infiltration and runoff characteristics. Construction of infrastructures such as buildings and housing can result less water to infiltrate through the soil, with increased surface water runoff and decline in evapotranspiration. A computerized hydrologic model, Hydrological Simulation Program-FORTRAN (HSPF), couple to a spreadsheet groundwater model and a Geographical Information System (GIS) were applied as tools to assess how changes in land use conditions can impact hydrology and future discharge of major river systems in west-central Florida. The model area comprised 230 square miles in central Polk County, Florida as the northeastern-most area of the Peace River Watershed. The lake model was calibrated and the used to assess three general land use conditions 1) predevelopment, 2) existing conditions, and 3) build-out land use (2030) with data provided by Polk County. Predevelopment land use was determined based on Google Earth and the existing land use conditions. The period 2000-2020 were used to calibrate the model. Daily and cumulative streamflow hydrographs of predevelopment, current, and build-out land uses were plotted, and statistically compared to observed daily and cumulative streamflow data. Urban impervious and pervious areas increased from near 0% to 21.9% from predevelopment to present and are proposed for a 384% increase from present to build-out. Conversely, forested and agricultural decreased over time. Results indicated that streamflow increased substantially (88%) as a result of land use change from predevelopment through build-out. Water balance analyses revealed that surface runoff significantly increased (97%), while recharge and total evapotranspiration decreased due to changes in land use through the period.