Sustainable Agricultural Activity, Ecosystem Health and Risks to Human Health
|Robert Bailey Director, Environmental Research Western Professor (Environmental Science, Biology) The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario Canada N6A 5B7 1-519-661-4022 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Recently, there have been many improvements in the assessment of the environmental effects of agricultural activity on aquatic ecosystems, and increased concern about human health risks for people in rural areas using groundwater as their primary drinking water source. Meanwhile, policy and legislation around the safety and security of water in rural and urban areas have evolved rapidly in response to the Walkerton tragedy.|
I propose in this presentation a research program that will integrate previously disparate research paradigms in accurately evaluating the linkages between (i) landscape scale exposure of ecosystems to stressors from agricultural activity (e.g. manure spreading, large-scale livestock production), (ii) effects of such stressors on surface and groundwater quality, including pathogen loads, (iii) effects of changing groundwater and surface water quality on non-human ecosystem health properties such as diversity, stability, and productivity, (iv) effects of changing ecosystem health on human health risks from surface and ground water, and (v) efficacy of existing and proposed policy and legislation in protecting, rehabilitating, or enhancing ecosystem health and thereby reduce human health risk.
With this new approach to evaluating the sustainability of agriculture in North America I will address such questions as: