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C-HAWQ
COASTAL HEALTH & WATER QUALITY

FUTURE WATER QUALITY CHALLENGES TO AQUACULTURE & INFLUENCES ON PRODUCT SAFETY

This project will begin in the Winter of 2015 and is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Water for Agriculture Challenge Area.BaffinBayInset

Recent growth in aquaculture is fueled by the demand for affordable fish protein, but its sustainability will be determined by water availability and the safety, or perceived safety of its product. As aquaculture grows it will consume more water along with other sectors as they adapt to increasing population and climate change stressors. In some regions aquaculture will be in direct competition for limited water resources, some of which may also be lower quality water, raising concerns about product safety. In the future, decisions will have to be made regarding the viability of aquaculture in some regions and the ability to safely use lower quality water resources. Before these judgments can be made, it is imperative that research examines the future of water supplies for both quantity and quality as it relates to aquaculture. This must include both projections for water resources and the influence of reduced water quality on product safety. This research will use existing data, historic trends and socio-economic and climate scenarios to create projections for aquaculture susceptibility to reductions in water quantity and quality. Next, contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) that are found in surface waters receiving wastewater treatment effluent will be studied to assess mechanisms that influence their bioaccumulation in an effort to update and improve existing uptake models. The projections and improved bioaccumulation models for farmed fish will provide aquaculturists with knowledge to make proactive management decisions, while improving our general understanding of human exposure to pollutants from nontraditional water use.

This grant is a collaboration between the C-HaWQ lab, Dr. John Scarpa (TAMUCC) and Dr. Bryan W. Brooks (Baylor University). Additional information will be added to this page as this exciting 3 year grant gets underway.

Dr. Jeremy L. ConkleDepartment of Physical & Environmental SciencesTexas A&M UniversityCorpus Christi, TX 78412

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