State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007TX263B
Title: Intra-Watershed Modeling of Bacterial Contamination
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/29/2008
Congressional District: 21
Focus Categories: Water Quality, Agriculture, Non Point Pollution
Keywords: bacteria, total maximum daily load (TMDL), surface water quality, computer modeling, watersheds, geographic information systems
Principal Investigators: Johnson, Stephanie; Maidment, David R.
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,080
Abstract: According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, pathogen contamination is the highest single source of surface water contamination in the country today (EPA 2006). Pathogen contamination stems from an overloading of bacteria, much of which is due to non-point sources such as runoff from agricultural activities. The ability to accurately model non-point bacterial loading to waterbodies has historically been limited due to the complicated biological and physical interactions that bacteria undergo when they are released into the environment. The objective of this research project is to develop a small scale intra-watershed model for the transport of bacteria in surface water runoff. Bacterial characteristics and transportation routes will be combined with hydrologic/hydraulic modeling to predict the movement of bacteria across a watershed. Modeling at this level is not currently available and will greatly increase our ability to communicate with the public, assess management strategies, and reduce bacterial contamination of surface water.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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