William H. Harsha Lake is a reservoir managed as a source of drinking water by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers-Louisville District for flood control, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for water recreation. The East Fork Watershed, in southwestern Ohio, has been a site for watershed management research including a stream network monitoring program and modeling studies. In order to better serve the watershed, stakeholders from local, state, and federal agencies responsible for water quality protection and management established the East Fork Watershed Cooperative.
Harsha Lake has served as a field site supporting numerous EPA Office of Research and Development research objectives related to HAB assessment and management in inland waterbodies for the past four years. Many of these studies rely on the routine spatially and temporally dense water quality monitoring ongoing, including 6 lake sites visited every 3 weeks, year-round plus inflows and overflows visited weekly for grab sampling, and at least one continuous water quality buoy site for real-time monitoring to substantiate the testing of hypotheses about HAB ecology and management.
PrimeWater aspires to deploy and test in William H. Harsha Lake an Early Warning System to improve water hazard preparedness against hydrological extremes and HAB events. Ground-based and EO-derived datasets will be combined with physics-based and data-driven modelling techniques to enhance predictive capacity of the service line.