Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020NH222B

Water Quality and the Landscape: Long-term monitoring of rapidly developing suburban watersheds

Institute: New Hampshire
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-03-01 End Date: 2021-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $26,672 Total Non-Federal Funds: $67,143

Principal Investigators: Bill McDowell

Abstract: New Hampshire’s surface waters are a very valuable resource, contributing to the state’s economic base through recreation (fishing, boating, and swimming), tourism, enhanced real estate values, and drinking water supplies. It is estimated that freshwater recreation and public water supplies contribute $1.5 billion in sales annually to NH’s economy. The rapid population growth that New Hampshire is experiencing threatens the state’s water supplies and ecosystem health. The proposed work will continue documentation of long-term changes to water quality in response to the changing land use and management practices associated with population growth, as well as in response to extreme climatic events. There are several components to this project, drawing from the efforts of local watershed monitoring groups, as well as on-going research projects by UNH staff and students, all leading to long-term datasets of water quality in New Hampshire. These water quality datasets could support the development, testing and refinement of predictive models, accurately assess the impacts of watershed management practices on drinking water supplies, assess efforts to reduce surface water quality impairments, and be potential early warning signs of dramatic changes to surface water quality in the region resulting from rapid development.