State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2008TX307B
Title: Uncertainty Analysis of a Statistical Model for Pathogen Contamination Assessment in Two Texas River Basins
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2008
End Date: 2/28/2009
Congressional District: 17
Focus Categories: Models, Surface Water, Water Quality
Keywords: E. coli, Spatial Analysis, SPARROW, TMDL
Principal Investigators: Deepti, Deepti ; Karhikeyan, R
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,519
Abstract: The water contamination due to pathogen is an increasing problem in Texas. Statistical and mathematical models have been used to assess pathogen loads in watersheds to develop Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program. Spatially Referenced Regression on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) model, developed by U.S. Geological Survey, predicts the pathogen load resulting from various sources in a watershed. The prediction of this model mainly depends on the quality of inputs and the empirical description of the watershed processes (delivery, transport and attenuation). Our overall objective is to quantify the impact of uncertainty of these inputs in the prediction of this statistical model. In this research, the error propagation in SPARROW predictions of pathogen contaminants for two river basins of Texas will be assessed. The model will be fitted for the various scenarios defined by including the spatial and/or temporal uncertainty terms in the explanatory variable. The assessment of possible errors in the model outputs will be helpful for decreasing the margin of safety of TMDL in a scientific way.

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