Mindy Erickson

Prioritizing water availability study settings by considering geogenic contaminants, domestic well water use, and other societal factors
May 8, 3:30 to 4:30pm

Soils 415 and Zoom 

Water availability for human and ecological uses depends on both sufficient water quantity and water quality. Geogenic contaminants, including trace elements and radionuclides from geologic sources, are among the most prevalent contaminants limiting water availability in the United States and globally. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is quantitatively incorporating and prioritizing societal factors in developing ranking processes for regional-scale, geogenic-related water availability research priorities. USGS ranking processes have typically incorporated conventional physical and geochemical factors. Novel factors such as spatial gaps in environmental knowledge (data gaps), domestic well drinking-water source, and other societal information can also be incorporated to begin addressing historical inequities. This presentation will outline the process and results of considering conventional and novel societal variables to rank and prioritize basins across the United States for geogenic-focused water quality research. Consideration of societal factors along with conventional hydrogeological/biogeochemical factors will provide decision makers with the tools needed to increase equity and reduce bias in prioritizing future water availability studies.

Event Speaker
Melinda Erickson




Mindy Erickson is an Adjunct Associate Professor with the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate