Ohio WRC Announces Funding for Projects Starting This Year

Posted: August 30, 2022

As one of 54 Water Resources Research Institutes nationwide federally authorized by the Water Resources Research Act, the Ohio Water Resources Center (WRC) has funded over 75 water research projects over the past decade. With the assistance of the United State Geological Survey (USGS) and the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA), we are excited to announce the funding of projects starting in 2022!

Ms. Idah Nogma, doctoral candidate in the Department of Geology and Environmental Earth Science at Miami University, is taking a water sample from a monitoring well at Charles M. Bolton Wellfield in Fairfield, Ohio.
  • Evaluating Current And Future Drinking Water Affordability In Ohio

In the US, much of the analyses of affordability for drinking water focuses on medium and large community water systems (CWSs), leaving water affordability for small systems understudied. Dr. Gingerich, Dr. Bielicki and their team are working to fill this gap by building a database of water rates across Ohio for a large sample of CWSs, assessing affordability of water provision at the census-tract level and assessing affordability of a potential regulation on per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs).

  • The Use Of Shotgun Metagenomics To Longitudinally Track Stream Resistome Dynamics: From Headwaters To Wastewaters

Due to continued overuse of antibiotics and the global spread of antibiotic resistance, antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs), antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARBs) and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) — collectively referred to as the resistome  — have been identified as emerging environmental pollutants of concern. Dr. Van Gray and his team plan to collect information to characterize the bacterial and resistome composition of surface waters prior to the convergence with WWTP effluents, a known source of resistome dissemination, as a means of establishing baseline resistome elements.

  • Oxidative Exhaustion: Assessing The Time Frame For The Cessation Of Acid Mine Drainage Production Within Impacted Watersheds

Contamination from historic coal mining has reduced the quality of water resources across Ohio and Appalachia, primarily through acid mine drainage (AMD) — the outflow of acidic water from mines. Dr. Singer and his team aim to establish a time frame for oxidative exhaustion, the reactions that cause AMD, across a range of AMD-impacted watersheds within Ohio to improve planning for future treatments.

  • Understanding Hyporheic Exchange Dynamics In A Headwaters Stream Impacted By Urban Karst

The watersheds upon which cities are built eventually become perforated by what has been termed “urban karst”: a collection of fast flow pathways that modify the discharge-recharge dynamics of groundwater and surface water exchange (i.e. hyporheic exchange). Drs. Ward, Soltanian, Sturmer and Mr. Lehmann aim to characterize the dynamics of hyporheic exchange at a location of probable stream losses to urban karst by applying several near-surface geophysical methods in an experimental watershed.

  • Modeling Total Microcystin Concentrations In Grand Lake St Marys During A Period Of Exceedingly Low External Runoff

Existing harmful algal bloom (HAB) models do not forecast years wherein there are large blooms but relatively low toxicity, limiting understanding of their spread and toxicity. 2021 presents an opportunity to investigate drivers of HAB toxicity independent of cyanobacterial biovolume in Grand Lake St Marys as concentrations of microcystins stayed low throughout the year compared to average microcystins in August even when biovolume increased in June and July to normal levels for Grand Lake. Drs. Newell, Jacquemin and Doll aim to determine whether the reduction in HAB toxicity but not biomass in 2021 was linked to a shift to non-toxic algal strains, changes in external loading or shifts in internal nutrient availability and recycling.

  • Quantifying Induced Infiltration By Municipal Production Wells Using Stable Isotopes Of Water

Alluvial aquifers that are hydraulically connected to surface-water bodies are used as drinking water production sites throughout the world because of the relative ease of shallow groundwater withdrawal. The high permeability of the aquifer sediment and high aquifer-recharge rates caused by induced infiltration from the surface-water body both help minimize the drawdown in the production well, but induced infiltration poses a risk of aquifer contamination from surface-water contaminants and streamflow depletion as a result of excessive withdrawal of groundwater from the aquifer. Therefore, it is important for sustainable groundwater management to estimate how much water produced from municipal wells is derived from induced infiltration. Drs. Levy, Rech and Ms. Ngoma propose to make this estimate using the stable isotopic composition of oxygen (δ¹⁸O) and deuterium (δD).

Congratulations again to this year's recipients! The application deadline for next year's pre-proposals is Thursday, September 29, 2022. Pre-proposal decisions and an invitation to submit a full proposal will be announced the week of Oct. 31, 2022. Full proposals will be due Dec. 15, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. and funding decisions are expected the week of March 13, 2023. Funding is anticipated to begin on Sept. 1, 2023.

Click here for the official request for proposals announcement and detailed instructions.