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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Research Project #436901

Research Project: Using Modeling to Develop Monitoring Strategy and Scheduling for Microbial Quality of Irrigation Water Sources

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-42610-001-004-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2019
End Date: Jun 30, 2023

The purpose of this project is to (a) develop submodels of transport and survival of indicator and pathogen bacteria around and in irrigation water sources, (b) develop the decision support tool to optimize sampling schedules and number of samples to characterize microbial quality of irrigation water in site-specific environmental and management conditions.

The transport and survival submodels have to rely on the information that is available to farm owner(s) or is publicly available. Transfer functions have to be developed to eliminate not readily available site-specific input for those submodels. The submodels have to be applicable in a range of climatic, soil, and management conditions. The sampling optimization algorithms have to provide the predictive capacity to establish the site-specific risk of exceeding the microbial standards of irrigation water quality. Artificial intelligence methods have to be utilized. The tool developed will gather publicly available data from USGS, USDA, NOAA, and EPA databases for applying the submodels to optimize sampling schedule for specific management and environmental conditions in the area affecting the microbial quality in the irrigation water source.