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Linking Economics in Hydrology

Linking Economics in Hydrology: A Coupled Model of the Physical Processes and Economic Behavior in the Upper Big Walnut Creek Watershed

STEAM Collaborators:

Sathya Gopalakrishnan, Ph.D- Assistant Professor

College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences- Agriculture, Environmental and Developmental Economics

Gajan Sivandran, Ph.D- Assistant Professor

College of Engineering- Civil, Environmental, and Geodetic


  1. To develop a coupled model linking agricultural decisions and the hydrological processes determining the transport of pollutants from a watershed to a receiving water body
  2. To combine economic and hydrology information in the Upper Big Walnut Creek watershed to validate the model and estimate cost benefit parameters to determine the agricultural input decisions.


Humans are constantly changing the environment surrounding them and understanding the multidirectional feedbacks between human behavior and natural systems often requires more than just superimposing an economic model on the bio-physical system. Using the assembled data as a baseline to simulate alternative climate and land use scenarios, we also examined the potential impact of climatic change on water quality in the Hoover Reservoir. The newly developed research capacity provided insights for long-term solutions as policymakers today grapple with balanc- ing a growing demand for agricultural output and sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems.

Noteable Achievements: 

  • Produced 3 publications 
  • Mentored a Ph.D and 2 Masters students
  • Organized outreach events for high school teachers through Science Education Council of Ohio