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    Rights statement: © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

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Predicting microbial water quality with models: over-arching questions for managing risk in agricultural catchments

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • David Michael Oliver
  • Kenneth D. H. Porter
  • Yakov A. Pachepsky
  • Richard W. Muirhead
  • Sim M. Reaney
  • Rory Coffey
  • David Kay
  • David Graham Milledge
  • Eunmi Hong
  • Steven G. Anthony
  • Trevor John Charles Page
  • Jack W. Bloodworth
  • Per-Erik Mellander
  • Patrice E. Carbonneau
  • Scott J. McGrane
  • Richard S. Quilliam
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/02/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Science of the Total Environment
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)39-47
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date3/12/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English


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.

Bibliographic note

© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)