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Inland flooding impacts rural drinking water resources along the Gulf Coast
Proceedings of the 2023 Mississippi Water Resources Conference

Year: 2023 Authors: Jones C.N., Hayes W., Peterson D., Terry L., Barrett J.

Along the Gulf Coast, private drinking water wells play an important role in delivering water to rural communities. Yet, these systems also present a public health concern due to inconsistencies in water quality testing, regular maintenance, and construction practices. Here, we focus on how hurricanes and the associated inland flooding impact private well systems using a combination of community science sampling campaigns and geospatial modeling. We conducted a community science sampling campaign after Hurricane Ida, and our results highlighted widespread bacterial contamination of private drinking water wells. To put these results into context, we used a combination of modeled well locations and remotely sensed inundation estimates to quantify the potential extent of flooding impacts on the well user community. Taken together, these initial results highlight widespread impacts of hurricanes on rural drinking water resources.

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