Mehmet Oztan's poster won the first prize at the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Expo February 2009. The AWWA Michigan Section Young Professional (YP) Committee hosted this poster competition for drinking water professionals and college students in water works field. Mehmet has won a paid trip to the AWWA National Conference in June 2009 in San Diego, California to compete against other “Fresh Ideas” AWWA state section winners. The poster was co-authored by Dr. Li and his reseach group members, Hassan Abbas, Dr. Huashen Liao, and Richard Mandle.

Click here to read the abstract of the poster:

Dr. Li's group working in the lab

Mehmet with his poster in the Expo
Spectators watching the poster with interest
Other posters in the Expo


Michigan State University (MSU) College of Engineering and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) have been engaged in a long-term project to develop a tool for protecting Michigan's public groundwater-supply system. Historically, the protection of groundwater supply systems has been accomplished through the implementation of isolation distances in which land use practices are monitored or restricted within a specified radial distance from a water-supply well. With the development of the concept of “Wellhead Protection Areas” (WHPA), there has been shift toward implementing groundwater protection that is based on groundwater flow rates and directions. This has necessitated the collection of costly site-specific data that are used in groundwater-flow simulations. These data are collected by conducting costly site-specific investigations. While the financial cost of this approach per delineation is more than $30,000 , this amount may increase depending on the complexity of the flow field and the number of wells in the public water-supply system. In Michigan, the cost for conducting these WHPA delineations was shared by the sate and local groundwater-supply owners. With tightening budgets, it became apparent that a less costly approach was needed. The team of investigators from MSU and MDEQ developed a database management and groundwater flow modeling program called “Michigan Interactive Groundwater for Wellhead Protection (MIGWWP). This program made extensive use of State of Michigan databases and Interactive Ground Water, a sophisticated three-dimensional groundwater-flow and solute-transport model developed by Dr. Shu-Guang Li and Associates at MSU. The approach utilized by MIGWWP was tested by successfully comparing WHPA delineations completed using MIGWWP to those delineated by various consulting firms in Michigan for more than 100 public groundwater-supply wells. Several county-wide pilot studies have been completed to further assess the methodology and the applicability of the databases. The demonstration of MIGWWP delineations has been so successful that the State of Michigan is going to use MIGWWP to delineate WPHAs for more than 12,000 public groundwater supplies that don't have the financial resources to complete the delineation investigation.


Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
3546 Engineering Building, Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1226
Phone: (517) 355-5107; Fax: (517) 432-1827