Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2019GA059B

Developing an effective and targeted monitoring system for tracking toxic harmful algal blooms across Georgia

Institute: Georgia
Year Established: 2019 Start Date: 2019-06-01 End Date: 2020-05-31
Total Federal Funds: $18,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $37,298

Principal Investigators: Deepak Mishra

Abstract: The frequency and severity of toxic cyanobacterial harmful blooms (CyanoHABs) have been increasing across Georgia, with excessive nutrient enrichment in watersheds and shifting climate paradigms being identified as primary culprits. CyanoHABs threaten human health, animal health, overall aquatic ecosystem sustainability and biodiversity, and the economic viability of affected regions. These negative impacts stem from the ability of many cyanobacteria generas to produce toxic compounds that have been associated with liver, kidney, digestive, skin, and neurological impairment, and even death. During extended drought conditions of summer 2012, we documented harmful cyanobacterial blooms in livestock drinking water ponds throughout Georgia; many of which were associated with livestock mortality events. Effective, targeted, rapid and cost-efficient monitoring is indispensable for freshwater sustainability in Georgia. The overall objective of the proposed research is to intensively apply a previously developed cyberinfrastructure, based on the synergetic integration of three clouds, i.e., community clouds: formed of areas where residents and visitors recording their observations on social media, sensor clouds: comprising of remote mobile and stationary sensors, and data analytics clouds: comprising of smart and scalable techniques for deriving actionable information by processing CyanoHAB data from heterogeneous sources in near real-time. Frequent monitoring of this microbiota in Georgia freshwaters will enable us to understand the location-specific environmental triggers and help reduce the severity of events, improve water quality, protect animal health and provide significant cost savings to local, state and federal governments.