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JENNIFER PARKE CO-PI ON NEW USDA-SCRI GRANT ON WATERBORNE PLANT PATHOGENS IN RECYCLED IRRIGATION WATER

Clean WateR3 - Reduce, Remediate, Recycle – Enhancing Alternative Water Resources Availability and Use to Increase Profitability in Specialty Crops

A national team of scientists working to encourage use of alternative water resources by the nation’s billion-dollar nursery and floriculture industry has been awarded funds for the first year of an $8.7 million, five year US Department of Agriculture – National Institute of Food and Agriculture –Specialty Crop Research Initiative competitive grant. The team will develop and apply solutions to assist grower decision-making by providing science-based information to increase use of recycled water.  This award from the NIFA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative will be managed by Project Director Sarah White of Clemson University.  She will lead a group of 21 scientists from 9 U.S. institutions.  Entitled “Clean WateR3 - Reduce, Remediate, Recycle – Enhancing Alternative Water Resources Availability and Use to Increase Profitability in Specialty Crops”, the Clean WateR3 team will assist the grower decision-making process by providing science-based information on nutrient, pathogen, and pesticide fate in recycled water both before and after treatment, average cost and return-on investment of technologies examined, and model-derived, site specific recommendations for water management.  The trans-disciplinary Clean WateR3 team will develop these systems-based solutions by integrating sociological, economic, modeling, and biological data into a user-friendly decision-support system intended to inform and direct our stakeholders’ water management decision-making process. Co-PI Jennifer Parke of Oregon State University will lead the team in determining risks of waterborne plant pathogens in recycled irrigation water and determining economic losses attributable to waterborne plant pathogens.