Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute (KWRRI)

Eastern Kentucky PRIDE Project

The Eastern Kentucky PRIDE (Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment) initiative was first announced by U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers and Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet Secretary James Bickford in 1997. PRIDE is the first comprehensive, region-wide, local/state/federal cooperative effort designed to address the serious challenge of cleaning up the region's rivers and streams. The initiative is focusing on 40 separate counties located in the southeastern part of Kentucky that form the headwaters for the Big Sandy, Licking, Kentucky, Green and Cumberland river basins. Also included in the region are small segments of the Salt and Little Sandy river basins. Since its formation in 1997, PRIDE has been responsible for the funding of numerous projects in the 40 PRIDE counties, many of which focus on the elimination of straight pipes and the upgrading of wastewater treatment plants.

In 2000, PRIDE contracted with the University of Kentucky to provide a baseline water quality assessment of the PRIDE region and to continue the on-going monitoring and assessment program. The efficient utilization of federal funds in improving the water quality and aquatic habitat of the region requires a process for assessing and evaluating the impacts of proposed and ongoing projects as well as some mechanism for prioritizing the allocation of additional funds. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of these projects, it is important to provide a formal monitoring and assessment program based on sound scientific principles. Four separate reports were initially developed to provide an assessment of the existing water quality conditions in the 40 county PRIDE region (along with an identification of the water quality problems) and associated state and federal programs that have been designed to address these issues. In particular, the reports establish baseline conditions in the region for evaluating the impacts of the PRIDE programs and the extent to which such programs are satisfying their stated objectives of cleaning up the rivers and streams.

From 2000 to 2006, researchers from the University of Kentucky collected water quality samples from 80 separate sites across the PRIDE project region.  In addition to field data (i.e. flowrate, pH, temperature, and conductivity) laboratory analyses were also performed for fecal coliform, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus.  The results of these analysis can be obtained from the KWRRI PRIDE website