Event Title

Geographical Information Systems Analysis of E. Coli Sample Locations and Intervention Planning for Plaster Creek Watershed

Location

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

Start Date

2-4-2014 3:30 PM

Description

Humans are inextricably connected to water. Understanding human impacts on water quality continues to be a governmental focus. State and local agencies as well as other stakeholders are responsible for monitoring and selecting improvement sites in their own watersheds. Improvements to watershed monitoring and intervention site selection are needed. Previous analyses of water quality data have typically been limited to basic metrics such as minimum and maximum, average, and pass or fail. Furthermore, intervention sites are often selected based on ease of access. This project shows an improved model for water quality data analysis using geographical information systems (GIS). This model compiles data from different locations within a watershed, dates and results of testing, locations for potential pollution inputs, and potential intervention sites. Plaster Creek, a tributary of the Grand River, was chosen because it is currently designated as unsafe for any form of human contact due to high levels of Escherichia coli (E. coli). Human contact with E. Coli may cause diarrhea, anemia, kidney failure, and death. This visualization deals with mapping and understanding E. coli levels in Plaster Creek. For the first time, Plaster Creek water quality stakeholders can easily determine if the current testing locations provide adequate information to choose high-impact intervention sites, monitor potential pollution inputs, select additional testing locations, and monitor long-term impacts of improvement efforts. Sustained use of this model to map watersheds will aid stakeholders in further water quality assessments in other watersheds as well.

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Apr 2nd, 3:30 PM

Geographical Information Systems Analysis of E. Coli Sample Locations and Intervention Planning for Plaster Creek Watershed

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

Humans are inextricably connected to water. Understanding human impacts on water quality continues to be a governmental focus. State and local agencies as well as other stakeholders are responsible for monitoring and selecting improvement sites in their own watersheds. Improvements to watershed monitoring and intervention site selection are needed. Previous analyses of water quality data have typically been limited to basic metrics such as minimum and maximum, average, and pass or fail. Furthermore, intervention sites are often selected based on ease of access. This project shows an improved model for water quality data analysis using geographical information systems (GIS). This model compiles data from different locations within a watershed, dates and results of testing, locations for potential pollution inputs, and potential intervention sites. Plaster Creek, a tributary of the Grand River, was chosen because it is currently designated as unsafe for any form of human contact due to high levels of Escherichia coli (E. coli). Human contact with E. Coli may cause diarrhea, anemia, kidney failure, and death. This visualization deals with mapping and understanding E. coli levels in Plaster Creek. For the first time, Plaster Creek water quality stakeholders can easily determine if the current testing locations provide adequate information to choose high-impact intervention sites, monitor potential pollution inputs, select additional testing locations, and monitor long-term impacts of improvement efforts. Sustained use of this model to map watersheds will aid stakeholders in further water quality assessments in other watersheds as well.