A Multi-State Regulation and Policy Survey of Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Upgrade Programs

This study was commissioned by the Cesspool Conversion Working Group to evaluate and analyze cesspool and conventional on-site wastewater treatment system conversion methods in selected US mainland states.
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The Microbiological Water Quality of Oahu Beaches

This project evaluates O‘ahu’s microbial coastal water quality. Nine hundred eighty (980) water samples will be collected over a twelve-month period. These samples will be analyzed for the indicator bacteria enterococci and Clostridium perfringens. Molecular tests will be used to identify sources of microbial contaminants when the water quality is compromised.
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The Microbiological Water Quality of Ko Olina Lagoons

Good water quality, based on fecal indicator bacteria and nutrient analyses, was observed in all four Ko Olina lagoons over the study period (01/14/19–11/12/19). Dinoflagellate (cf. Gymnodinium) blooms were detected in two of the lagoons. Saxitoxin levels were low in all four lagoons and not associated with the blooms.
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Development and Multi-Process Calibration for the Keauhou Aquifer in West Hawai‘i

The study included developing and implementing a conceptual model for the Keauhou Aquifer site in West Hawai‘i, calibrating the model using available data to their fullest extent to constrain parameters, and applying the model for management through simulating various scenarios aimed at assessing the risk to aquatic resources.
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Forecasting Daily Reference Evapotranspiration for Water Resources Conservations and Sustainable Agriculture in Hawai‘i

The objective of this project is to adapt the current CropManage web application to use in Hawai‘i, and to develop accurate methods of forecasting evapotranspiration (ETo) data that in turn, results in more accurate irrigation scheduling.
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Evaluation of Climate Monitoring on Mauna Kea

In this project we are planning and working to gain the acceptance and participation from relevant stakeholders for future deployment of instrumentation to continuously monitor the climate of the upper elevations of Mauna Kea
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Linking Watershed and Groundwater Management to Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems and Their Linked Ecological, Cultural, and Socio-Economic Values

We develop future scenarios of cesspool (wastewater) management, forest conservation, groundwater pumping, and climate change to assess how coastal groundwater quality and quantity may change and how this may affect culturally and ecologically valuable groundwater dependent ecosystems along the coast of the Keauhou aquifer.
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Synthesis of the Physical and Socio-Political Aspects of Hydrological Research in the Páramo

The objective of this project is to synthesize the current status of knowledge regarding the effects of land cover and climate change on the hydrological functioning and linked social and economic outcomes in high elevation Andean páramo grasslands from Perú to Venezuela.
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Deep Learning Applications for Image Reconstruction and Analysis in Earth Sciences

Development of machine learning techniques for 3D digital rock reconstruction.
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Demonstration Study of High-Rate Floatation/Contactor Treatment of Raw Wastewater

Research will be conducted in the following categories: biological wastewater treatment; innovative primary treatment for carbon diversion; thermal hydrolysis pre-treatment of sludges; anaerobic digestion; co-digestion of fats, oils, and grease (FOG); food waste; bioplastics; sludge dewatering; on-site wastewater treatment including passive denitrifying absorption systems and constructed wetlands; water recycling; membrane bioreactors; groundwater infiltration into sewers; stormwater runoff management including green roofs; and biofiltration systems.
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Maintaining a high level of water quality over time, especially on islands where freshwater resources can be easily compromised, requires a level of expertise in science, public administration and health, as well as partnership development that few entities can accomplish. As one of 54 institutions created under the federal Water Resources Research Act of 1964, WRRC is uniquely positioned to develop, implement and manage complex water quality projects for the public’s benefit. 

With demonstrated success in utilizing cross-sector collaborations, facilities that include environmental chemistry and microbiology laboratories, as well as a roster of highly-seasoned faculty researchers, substantive outcomes have been produced across five categories of research:  

Even though the work of WRRC goes largely unseen by the public it is vital to the daily lives of people across the Pacific. With most of the Center’s research being directed at addressing the evolving needs and problems of the agencies responsible for managing water resources WRRC research impacts every sector where water is a key element from tourism to public health. This also means its projects span a wide spectrum of issues from identifying infectious agents (bacteria and viruses) in wastewater and assessing the effects of Hawaii’s four deep-ocean sewage outfalls, to pioneering clean water catchment technologies for isolated areas, and ensuring water contamination events are managed quickly and appropriately