Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2004
Publication Date: December 6, 2004
Citation: Graff, C.D., Sadeghi, A.M. 2004. Utilizing the soil & water assessment tool (SWAT) for a pathogen transport risk assessment [Abstract]. Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting. p.11.
The risk of off-site transport of microbial pathogens from agricultural land can be substantially influenced by management practices and can affect contamination of ground and surface waters at watershed scales. Unfortunately, current technologies are not adequate for handling large-scale treatment, making it difficult to determine which practices, or combination of practices, are most effective. Currently, no continuous, process-based model can provide estimates of pathogen loadings into surface and groundwater resources at watershed or basin levels to facilitate a risk assessment pertaining to off-site transport associated with specific management practices. In an attempt to address this issue, we have developed a microbial sub-model into the Soil & Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) watershed model. The resulting model contains die-off and re-growth rates along with critical process-based formulations that can allow for evaluation of pathogen loadings in water resources associated with various agricultural practices at large scales. In this way, various manure management scenarios can be evaluated in their ability to reduce the risk of surface and groundwater contamination, by potentially harmful pathogenic bacteria. While initial testing was successfully completed using two relatively extensive databases on pathogen fate and transport, significant data gaps in the behavior of specific pathogens in the field need to be filled for a comprehensive risk assessment to be fruitful.