Harnessing citizen-science to understand stressors on groundwater quality in the Alabama Gulf Coast

The University of Alabama in Huntsville is supporting Auburn University in the 2021 Alabama Center of Excellence (ALCoE) Restore Act project entitled "Harnessing Citizen-Science to Understand Groundwater Quality in the Alabama Gulf Coast" by providing advanced data analysis and visualization services. To reach the objectives of the project, Dr. John Beck (Co-I), from the Information Technology and Systems Center (ITSC) at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is providing subject matter expertise and leading the development of a water quality data collection portal and web visualization/analysis dashboard.

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Water Quality Data Collection Portal - Prototype

Access to clean drinking water is a cornerstone of community resilience and sustainability, and contaminated drinking water can expose people to a variety of pollutants and pathogens. This study investigates the effects of multiple stressors on groundwater quality in the Alabama Gulf Coast through a citizen-science sample collection procedure which identifies a subgroup of 25 private water wells to be followed longitudinally for two years. Through a combination of a water quality survey, publicly available data populating a baseline for a groundwater quality data collection portal, and analyses of well water samples, Multi-Criteria Decision Analyses will be used to evaluate the risk of groundwater contamination resulting from septic systems, land cover, soils, water depths, topography, precipitation, and geology. Climate models will be used to predict future impacts on groundwater quality based on meteorological and geochemical stressors. Predictive tools using GIS will be available on a Groundwater Water Quality Portal (GWQ) where users can upload water quality data and visualize trends in the data spatially and temporally. Critically, the GWQ Portal will serve as an actionable resource for the Alabama Private Well Water Program (APWP) developed by the Auburn Water Resources Center. Through the APWP, informational resources will be created for dissemination to the public on how to sample private wells, how to interpret sample results, and what individuals can do to protect their wells and their source water from contamination. Understanding groundwater quality in domestic wells can help to answer questions about mechanistic stressors on groundwater contamination

Water Quality Data Collection Portal - Prototype
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