School: FREEDOM HIGH
Area of Science: Hydrology
Proposal: Do you drink estrogen? How about Prozac? Starting in 2008 you may very well be consuming people’s old or excreted pharmaceuticals through our drinking water.
Due to low recharge rates of the city of Albuquerque’s aquifers, the city will begin pumping water directly from the Rio Grande into your water glass. Trace levels of pharmaceuticals have been detected throughout the 30-mile stretch of the Rio Grande running through Albuquerque. Though traditional purification methods will be used on the surface water, there are currently no filtration methods applied to our water system that would effectively remove pharmaceuticals. To date, no research has been done to determine the effects of long-term, human exposure to low levels of these pollutants.
Our goal is to effectively model the concentrations of pharmaceuticals flowing down the Rio Grande using a simple linear flow model. We will show the degradation of these pollutants (i.e., evaporation, absorption, dissipation, etc.) and downstream concentrations through a Star Logo model using current USGS water data and research in our model of the river flow.
Amber rae quintana
Sponsoring Teacher: Joseph Vertrees
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