Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2012ID182B

Characterizing Boise River Watershed Water Quality Using BASINS Modeling

Institute: Idaho
Year Established: 2012 Start Date: 2012-03-01 End Date: 2014-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $29,480 Total Non-Federal Funds: $58,984

Principal Investigators: Shawn Benner

Abstract: The water quality of the lower Boise River is degraded by non-point source contamination (including nitrate and phosphorus) from adjacent agricultural and urbanized sub-watersheds. However, the distribution of those pollution sources is poorly constrained, making effective remedial response difficult and expensive. The objective of this project is to identify areas within the sub-watersheds of the lower Boise River that represent hot spots of non-point source contamination. This will be accomplished by completing four tasks: We will (1) compile existing water quality data, (2) conduct a targeted field sampling and analysis campaign, (3) implementation the BASINS (Better Assessment Science Integrating point and Nonpoint Sources) modeling approach, and (4) disseminate the results and observations to stakeholders in the watershed. The resulting modeling tool will provide a structure in which impacts to surface water quality can be identified and evaluated. The approach will be easily transferable to local and state regulatory agencies and stakeholders who can then use the tool to target areas of high loading for remedial action.