State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007TX268B
Title: Water Quality Influences on Ionizable Contaminants in the Brazos River Basin: Implications for Water Resource Management of Urbanizing Watersheds
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/29/2008
Congressional District: 17
Focus Categories: Surface Water, Hydrogeochemistry, Wastewater
Keywords: site specific water quality, watershed management, effluent discharges
Principal Investigators: Valenti, Theodore; Brooks, Bryan W. (Baylor University)
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,000
Abstract: Freshwater is increasingly becoming a finite resource in Texas. The Texas Water Development Board?s recent state water plan projects a doubling of the population of Texans by 2060, which may proportionally increase demand for beneficial water uses and further strain the state?s water budget. To account for shortages conservation and water reuse practices will increase in the coming years. The study of ionizable compounds is particularly relevant to water reuse management issues because greater quantities of ionizable compounds are anticipated to be released in the future as urban centers expand. Consequently, there is concern that introduction of ionizable compounds into surface waters may increase costs associated with reuse. Current methods for aquatic assessments of ionizable compounds have yet to consider site-specific watershed conditions, which is alarming because water quality parameters have been shown in laboratory studies to potentially affect hazard of these compounds to aquatic life. I selected the Brazos River basin as a model system to investigate how site-specific factors may affect the ionization state, and ultimately the aquatic hazard, of two model ionizable compounds. The first objective of my research is targeted on gathering historical and new water quality data that will allow for spatial comparison among different regions of the Brazos River basin. Data from the second objective will determine if site-specific modifiers are required for ambient water quality criteria of ionizable compounds. Further, my proposed study will support watershed management efforts by identifying subwatersheds potentially vulnerable to ionizable compounds that are weak acids or weak bases.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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