Debabrata Sahoo, Ph.D., P.E., P.H

Associate Professor-Sustainable Water Resources Engineering
Water Resources Program Team, Agricultural Sciences Department

Office: 509 Westinghouse Road, Pendleton, SC 29670
Phone: 864-646-2145


 Educational Background

Ph.D Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Texas A&M University 2008

M.S Biological and Agricultural Engineering
University of Arkansas 2004

B.S Agricultural Engineering
Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology 2000

 Courses Taught

Guest Lectured-
1. Ecological Engineering
2. Hydrologic Analysis and Design
3. Watershed Modeling
4. Stormwater Management
5. Soil and Water Conservation Engineering
6. Data Acquisition, Management, Analytics and Visualization
7. Water Quality Sampling and Analysis
8. Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology


Mission Statement: Dr. Sahoo’s research is focused on developing strategies for sustainable water resources for contrasting and competing users (e.g., MS4s, agricultural community) in the State of South Carolina and beyond. The strategies would assist in defining and developing the next-generation regulations and policies. He believes that sustainable water issues could be addressed by understanding ecosystem and human needs. Evaluation of ecosystem issues can require an understanding of the biogeochemical cycles in aquatic systems that control the fate and transport of pollutants, by effective experiments, monitoring and computational technologies. In his career, Dr. Sahoo has applied several approaches to quantify the impacts of anthropogenic activities such as land-use changes, agriculture, urban growth and natural variabilities on aquatic ecosystems. He takes a multi-disciplinary approach to address watershed issues in coupled human-natural systems. With an understanding of various lotic and lentic processes, he recommends various non-structural and structural best management practices in rural and urban watersheds to reduce the export of the pollutant of concern, improve water quality, and minimize ecological degradations.

Beyond Academia: Dr. Sahoo began his career in the private industry purposefully to gain better insights into societal issues. To bridge the gap between research and its application, he had spent more than a decade (2008-2020) in understanding the impacts of stormwater on aquatic ecosystems through high-frequency data collections, data management, big-data-driven assessments, statistical and numerical modeling. During those years, he had assisted various municipalities, cities, counties and local governments in South Carolina with a variety of water resources topics such as: TMDL compliance, LID modeling, green infrastructure solutions, economic analysis, water quality monitoring, watershed/water quality modeling, NPDES permits, water resources regulations and policy formation. Based on his professional engineering experiences, he believes that integrated research and extension are key components in solving the grand societal water challenges of both today and the future.

Laboratory: Sustainable Water Resources Laboratory (SWRL)

Undergraduate students, Graduate Students (M.S/Ph.D), Post-Docs: To join the SWRL group, please email me at

 Research Interests

Stormwater Management, Ecological Engineering, Watershed/Water Quality Modeling, Watershed Instrumentation and Monitoring, In-stream processes, Biogeochemistry, Water sensor applications, Big Data, Data Management and Data Communication, SMART Systems, Live Modeling, Technologies (WQ databases, dashboards), TMDLs, NPDES, Policies and Regulations.

 Extension and Outreach

Dr. Sahoo’s vision is to create an ecosystem around sustainable water resources in the State of South Carolina and complement the University’s land grant mission of engineering research, educating students and the stakeholders, and coordinating/collaborating with the water resources industry. He firmly believes that research should travel beyond the labs and the classrooms. Research is effective when the outcomes of the research are applied by the stakeholders through outreach and extension activities.

Dr. Sahoo works collaboratively with the water agents spread across the state. In the past, Dr. Sahoo has participated in educating K-12 students on different aspects of water engineering in the midlands of South Carolina encouraging youths in engineering. He has assisted schools and students in Lego-Robotics competition. He is actively engaged in the 5R Modeling efforts to address algal issues and other associated nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, in the Reedy River Watershed (, collaborating with multiple stakeholders including the regulators.


1. Chair, NRES Technical Community Program Chair, ASABE, 2019-2020, several other responsibilities and leadership positions in ASABE since 2003.
2. Invited Member of 2019-2020 PE Agricultural Engineering Survey Committee, NCEES and ASABE, Dallas, TX.
3. Initiated SC-ASABE chapter, 2018
4. 2019 AIM: Boston, Member/Volunteered and assisted in Industry-focused speed networking session.
5. Member Editorial Board (2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020), Resource Magazine
6. P-129 Technical Community Representative, 2019, Judging and selecting the student presenters


Since 2008


1. Kurian, C., K. P. Sudheer, V. K. Verma and D. Sahoo. 2020. Effective flood forecasting at higher lead times through hybrid modeling framework. Journal of Hydrology. Vol 587: 124945.
2. Fox, G., E. Matlock, J. Guzman, D. Sahoo, and K. Stunkel. 2011. Vegetative filter strips reduce E. Coli loads in runoff: A laboratory scale-study. Journal of Environmental Quality. Vol 40(3):980-988.
3. Sahoo, D., and P. Smith. 2009. Hydroclimatic trend detection in a rapidly urbanizing semi-arid and coastal river basin. Journal of Hydrology. Vol 367: 217-227.
4. Sahoo, D., P. Smith, and M. Ines. 2009. Calibration and validation of HSPF with genetic algorithms. Transactions of the ASABE. Vol 53(1): 75-86.


1. Stormwater, Watershed, and Receiving Water Quality Modeling, 2020. Water Environment Federation. Appendix A, Appendix B and Appendix C: D. Sahoo and John Schooler


1. Getting smart about clean water, 2018. D. Sahoo, B. Hammond, and M. Davis.
2. How can stormwater be smart, 2018. D. Sahoo.
3. Getting more bang for your buck: How to select a TMDL compliance Tool, 2017. D. Sahoo, H. Clarkson, B. Hammond, G. Inouye, C. Muller, and N. Turek.


1. Sahoo, D and others. Significant contribution in “Continuous watershed monitoring data analysis and interpretation, 2016: Greenville County Public Works Department”. Report submitted to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
2. Sahoo, D and others. Significant contribution in “Continuous watershed monitoring data analysis and interpretation, 2015: Greenville County Public Works Department”. Report submitted to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
3. Sahoo, D and others. Significant contribution in “Water Quality Monitoring Report, 2015: City of Columbia, Utilities and Engineering Department”. Report submitted to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
4. Sahoo, D and others. Significant contribution in “Water Quality Monitoring Report, 2013: City of Columbia, Utilities and Engineering Department”. Report submitted to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
5. Sahoo, D and others. Significant contribution in “Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) Sampling and Analysis for Greenville County, South Carolina, Continuous Water Quality Monitoring Network. 2011. QAPP submitted to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environment.


1. Sahoo, D. 2020. Harnessing the environmental data lake: Are emerging technologies answer to near real-time data-driven flood forecasting? South Carolina Hazard Mitigation Conference, Greenville, SC.
2. Sahoo, D. 2019. Smart stormwater management structural practices: The futuristic solutions. North Carolina – American Public Works Association, Willmington, NC.
3. Sahoo, D., B. Hammond, F. Ellerbe, and J. Riddle. 2018. In-situ algal growth studies to assess algal response to enriched total phosphorus concentrations in a piedmont region lake. Presentation in the ASABE conference, Detroit, MI.
4. Sahoo, D., F. Ellerbe, B. Hammond, and J. Riddle. 2017. A procedure to simulate water quality data collection and analysis methods to establish impairments using high-frequency water quality datasets in a piedmont region lake. Presentation in the ASABE conference, Spokane, WA.
5. Sahoo, D., F. Ellerbe, M. Long, T. Gauron, and A. Stroud. 2016. Unraveling the dissolved oxygen TMDL truth using continuous water quality monitoring in South Carolina. Presentation in the ASABE Annual Conference, Orlando, FL.
6. Sahoo, D., D. Misra, D. Borah, and B. Tabor. 2011. Stream bank erosion contributions to sediment loads in Jordan Creek, Alaska: DWSM-BE based assessment. Presentation in the International Symposium on Erosion and Landscape Evolution 2011, Alaska.
7. Sahoo, D., F. Holbrook,/ J. Riddle, G. McCall, and J. Wortkoetter. 2011. Evaluation of the nutrient TMDL in an upper piedmont river in South Carolina. Presentation in the Virginia Water Conference 2011, Virginia Lakes and Watersheds Association. Richmond, VA.
8. Stunkel, K. B., D. E. Storm, C. J. Penn, and D. Sahoo. 2009. Low dose alum injection to improve wetland P assimilation on the Illinois River. Presentation in the EWRI-Kansas City Conference, Kansas City, KS.


1. “SMART” stormwater systems and big data in the stormwater world. Iowa Stormwater Educational Partnership (delivered electronically to about 40 participants), The webinar is part of Stormwater Sessions Live! annual series, exploring a wide range of stormwater topics, Online-08/11/2020
2. “Stormwater Management: Current Practices and Future Solutions” KIIT, Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. Webinar to approximately 80 undergraduate and graduate students on 08/16/2020
3. “A journey of hydrologic and water quality data management in a regulatory environment: A Woolpert story” at AQUARIUS Insider Conference, Los Angeles, CA, 06/04/2019.
4. “In-stream water quality instrumentation, monitoring, and modeling” at the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India on 11/26/2014.
5. “Effect of Terrestrial Disturbances on Aquatic Ecosystems: Regulations, In-stream Instrumentation, Monitoring, and Modeling Based Investigations” at the College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar, India on 11/07/2014