Sustainable Water Data Available to Interested Scientists

Dr. Gerry Learmonth, the principal investigator for the Computing for Sustainable Water project, gives an update on the primary findings of the project as well as how other scientists can access the data.

Project Background

The Computing for Sustainable Water project was created to study the effects of potential management practices on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, a large watershed in the southeastern United States, and to gain deeper insights into what actions can lead to restoration, health, and sustainability of watersheds around the world.

Our Results

The project is now finished. For all the contributors on the World Community Grid – a sincere thank you! The project started when then President Obama issued an Executive Order to restore and sustain the quality of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. This project involved a very detailed simulation of the Bay with the goal of better understanding the impact of a set of practices—in fact, best management practices—on achieving that goal. 

Through the work of the World Community Grid volunteers, we determined that many of the commonly used practices have little effect on water quality. It is not that these practices do not have intrinsic value; rather, it is a matter of the degree of their effect. As a result, we have made these results known to policy-makers at the US Federal level, as well as at state and local levels. 

It is difficult to tell whether our findings will have effect on future policy, especially as we now have a different, less proactive, approach to environmental protection in the United States. Regardless, we are proud of our accomplishment through World Community Grid.

Further Reading and Data

Please check out the Computing for Sustainable Water website. There you will find a new, as yet unpublished paper about the project, entitled “Impact of Best Management Practices on Water Quality.”

For other scientists and others interested in doing a deep dive into the data, we’ve also created a document describing how the results of the experiments are formatted, and how to request data from particular experiments. We invite anyone doing research in this area to make use of the data.

To all the World Community Grid volunteers who donated to this project – thank you!

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