Departmental Research Projects
Publication detailsOliver, D.M., Porter, K.D.H., Pachepsky, Y.A., Muirhead, R.W., Reaney, S.M., Coffey, R., Kay, D., Milledge, D.M., Hong, E., Anthony, S.G., Page, T., Bloodworth, J.W., Mellander, P-E., Carbonneau, P., McGrane, S.J. & Quilliam, R.S. Predicting microbial water quality with models: Over-arching questions for managing risk in agricultural catchments. Science of The Total Environment. 2016;544:39-47.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 0048-9697 (print)
- DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.11.086
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
The application of models to predict concentrations of faecal indicator organisms (FIOs) in environmental systems plays an important role for guiding decision-making associated with the management of microbial water quality. In recent years there has been an increasing demand by policy-makers for models to help inform FIO dynamics in order to prioritise efforts for environmental and human-health protection. However, given the limited evidence-base on which FIO models are built relative to other agricultural pollutants (e.g. nutrients) it is imperative that the end-user expectations of FIO models are appropriately managed. In response, this commentary highlights four over-arching questions associated with: (i) model purpose; (ii) modelling approach; (iii) data availability; and (iv) model application, that must be considered as part of good practice prior to the deployment of any modelling approach to predict FIO behaviour in catchment systems. A series of short and longer-term research priorities are proposed in response to these questions in order to promote better model deployment in the field of catchment microbial dynamics.