Assessing the Impact of Wildfires on Water Quality


Location: 217 DeBartolo Hall

The frequency and intensity of wildfires has increased over the past few decades. Wildfires represents an acute perturbation to watersheds, and the impacts include changes in ecosystems, sediment mobilization, and overall water quality. The changes in water quality are a particular concern to drinking water utilities. Over the past, 5 years, my group has studied the impacts that wildfires can have on water quality and treatment operations. One of the concerns regarding wildfires is the changes that are observed to the soil matrix and the resulting enhancement in the mobilization of dissolved organic matter (DOM). In this presentation, a general discussion regarding the effects of wildfires on water quality will be presented, followed by a detailed discussion regarding the specific effects that thermal alteration has on DOM mobilization.

Dr. Fernando L. Rosario-Ortiz is an Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Dr. Rosario received his BS and MS in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico and the California Institute of Technology, respectively. He received his doctoral degree from UCLA in environmental science and engineering in 2006. His current research focuses on environmental photochemistry, impact of watershed perturbations on water quality and characterization of organic matter in different environments.

Refreshments will be served. Sponsored by the Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences.

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