Agricultural and Rural Watersheds
Identifying all relevant human and animal fecal sources is a basic requirement for target-oriented water resource management in agricultural and rural watersheds (ARW). As outlined, microbial source tracking (MST) is most suitably applied in concert with other methods within a broader conceptual framework of fecal pollution analysis. Two case studies – covering surface and karstic groundwater resources within ARW – are presented with the following features in common: public importance, problem formulation based on catchment-based pollution source profiling or modeling, and integrated use of several methods and parameters for fecal source characterization and identification at the water resource level. Possibilities and limitations of currently available MST tools, as well as fundamental requirements for their successful application and combination with other methods, are discussed. The use of multiple tools helps overcome specific limitations of individual methods, increases the robustness of the study, improves confidence in the results, or can help identify issues for further investigation.
KeywordsWater quality Fecal pollution Microbial source tracking Human vs. animal pollution ground and surface water Library dependent and independent methods
The Austrian part of the work was supported by the Vienna Water Works and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) translational research project No. L414-B03 and DK plus W 1219-N22 (Vienna Doctoral Programme on Water Resource Systems) granted to A.H.F. The US Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water Act 319(h) program provided funding to G.D.D. for the Lake Granbury study through the Brazos River Authority and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (Project 582-6-77030), and through the Texas Soil and Water Conservation Board for the Buck Creek study (Project 06–11).
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