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2006 Funded Projects

2006 Funded Projects

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Occurrence of Pharmaceuticals, Hormones, and other Organic Wastewater Contaminants in Cave Water within the Lower Neosho and Illinois River Basins, Oklahoma

Principal Investigators and Department: Joseph Bidwell, Zoology, Oklahoma State University

Recent studies indicate the presence of antibiotics, other pharmaceuticals, and residues of hormones (or hormone-mimicking compounds) in effluent from wastewater treatment plants and livestock producing facilities. Some of these chemicals can cause significant reproductive impairment of fish and amphibians. A study by the USGS found such compounds in the waters of the Illinois and Lower Neosho Rivers. This study will investigate the presence of these compounds in the caves in this area and their potential impacts on the cave animals which include threatened and endangered species. Passive sampling devices will be deployed in six caves and corresponding surface water sites for 2 months and then retrieved and analyzed. Water will be collected from these same sites for a bioassay using fathead minnow larvae.


Historical, Ecological, and Geochemical Analysis of Lakes Eucha and Spavinaw

Principal Investigators and Department: Berton Fisher and Bryan Tapp, Geosciences; Ken Roberts, Chemistry; Bill Porter, Biochemistry; and Harrington Wells, Biological Sciences, University of Tulsa

This project will create a model linking chemical and algal changes in the Eucha-Spavinaw reservoirs to surrounding land use. The researchers will investigate historic changes in land use and land cover through aerial photos and other remote sensing data, historic water quality changes from water testing in the basin (data provided by TMUA, OWRB, ADEQ, & USGS), and changes in sediment loads and sources using sediment cores. This will be linked in a predictive model to investigate catastrophic shifts in the nutrient levels in the water and whether there are significant lag-times between land use changes and shifts in water quality.


Decision Support System for Long-Term Planning of Rural and Urban Water Supply System Costs in Oklahoma

Principal Investigators and Department: Arthur Stoecker, Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University

This project will develop a decision support system (DSS) to determine the optimal number, location, and size of drinking water treatment plants and distribution lines in the planning area (Washington, Rogers, and Wagoner counties). This will address long-term planning needs for drinking water supplies such as whether it is more efficient to serve a large area with a few, centralized treatment systems or a group of small, decentralized systems. The researchers will determine water demand through the year 2060, the location, capacity, and condition of existing water treatment infrastructure, the cost of improvements, and the minimum-cost infrastructure that will meet future demands.