Library Scholars Series - Eric Booth: The Challenge of Proving and Improving Water Quality Outcomes

Marc Boucher-355-5251
Tue, Apr 29, 2014, 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm

'The Challenge of Proving and Improving Water Quality Outcomes: The Case of Phosphorus in the Yahara River Watershed"

The quality of accessible water is intimately connected to the quality of life for humans across the world. Here in the Midwest, we have been struggling for many decades with a particular water quality constituent:

phosphorus. While this element is a critical nutrient for the growth of plants, too much of it in aquatic systems can cause excessive growth of algae and impair water quality. Sources of phosphorus include wastewater treatment plant effluent and runoff from agricultural and urban areas. However, measuring phosphorus runoff across a diffuse landscape as opposed to the end of a pipe can be very challenging. The Yahara River Watershed that encompasses the Madison-area chain of lakes will be used as a case study to illustrate these challenges even in a watershed with substantial management interventions, research, and public visibility.

Dr. Eric Booth is an Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in the Departments of Agronomy and Civil & Environmental Engineering. He holds a BS in Environmental Engineering from UW-Madison (2004), MS in Hydrologic Science from UC-Davis (2006), and PhD in Limnology from UW-Madison (2011). He currently works on a project funded by the National Science Foundation looking at the future of water resources sustainability in the Yahara River watershed as it undergoes potential changes in climate, land-use, urbanization, and agriculture.