Share this

UNI team developing a tool to accurately predict urban water pollution

November 10, 2011

Ramanathan Sugumaran, professor, geography, 319-273-3816,

Rebecca Kauten, senior research associate, health, physical education & leisure services, 319-273-2654,

Stacey Christensen, University Relations, 319-273-6728,


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's GeoTREE Center received a research grant from Iowa Water Center to accurately estimate various pollutants in urban watersheds using geospatial technologies and techniques.   

The UNI GeoTREE Center is working with several community organizations and industry partner PV & Associates to develop a Source Loading and Management Model (SLAMM) that will help report overall water quality in urban areas. “One of the major benefits of this project is the integration of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and WinSLAMM model to create a report for people who don't have a technical background so they can understand,” said Ramanathan Sugumaran, Director of GeoTREE Center. This allows community members to read the tests performed in their own backyard.

"There are two major benefits from this endeavor: increasing the level of accuracy of an already highly accurate modeling tool means something good just got better," said Rebecca Kauten, senior research associate in health, physical education and leisure services at UNI. "In addition, displaying this information geospatially makes the information more accessible to the rest of us, which is important as we decide how we want our communities to look and feel today and in the future."

For more information about the UNI GeoTREE Center, visit For information about WinSLAMM, visit