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Award Abstract #1330238

Collaborative Research: North East Water Resources Network

Office of Integrative Activities
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Initial Amendment Date: July 23, 2013
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Latest Amendment Date: July 23, 2013
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Award Number: 1330238
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Award Instrument: Cooperative Agreement
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Program Manager: Jose L. Munoz
OIA Office of Integrative Activities
O/D Office Of The Director
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Start Date: August 1, 2013
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End Date: July 31, 2017 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $2,000,000.00
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Investigator(s): Daniel Leathers leathers@udel.edu (Principal Investigator)
Delphis Levia (Co-Principal Investigator)
Shreeram Inamdar (Co-Principal Investigator)
Alan Andres (Co-Principal Investigator)
Kent Messer (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: University of Delaware
210 Hullihen Hall
Newark, DE 19716-2553 (302)831-2136
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Program Reference Code(s): 019E, 1094, 1237, 7217, 7569, 7715, 7754, 7757, 7759, 9150, EGCH, SMET
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Program Element Code(s): 7217


IIA-1330446, University of Vermont, Judith Van Houten

Linked to: IIA-1330238, University of Delaware, Daniel Leathers and IIA-1330406, University of Rhode Island, Jennifer Specker.

Proposal Title: Collaborative Research: North East Water Resources Network

The North East Water Resources (NEWRnet) consortium is comprised of Delaware (DE), Rhode Island (RI), and Vermont (VT). This consortium will create an advanced sensor network in watersheds for gathering high-frequency, spatially-extensive water quality and quantity data and a network of lab and field-based experiments and agent-based models to investigate how to align sensor data and their visualization in a way that will be utilization by stakeholders.

Intellectual Merit

The overarching goal of NEWRnet is to improve the environmental governance and market mechanisms that sustain and/or improve water resources by linking information from a network of high-frequency sensors to behavioral results from decision makers. NEWRnet will address and integrate two challenges in environmental science and management to: 1) Understand the impact of climate variability and extreme weather events on water quality and quantity across the north-south gradient from VT to DE; and 2) Provide valuable and rapid information to stakeholders (resource users, resource managers, and policy makers) to lead to more time efficient and more informed land and water use decision making. The research design includes a sensor network nested in watersheds in each of the three states, using the same sensors to gather and transmit high-frequency hydrological and geochemical data for sharing to address hypothesis-driven questions. Concurrently, NEWRnet will create a network across all three states for experimental economics and agent-based modeling. Value-added data displays from the sensors will be tested in lab and field-based experiments to examine how stakeholders react to frequent, multi-dimensional environmental information over large areas and longer time periods, which in turn will inform agent-based models that will simulate the decision making of information users (farmers, residents, businesses, town managers, governance bodies) on a broader scale. The modeling will involve these stakeholders and test scenarios for their use of these high-frequency water quality data. Workforce development and diversity programs will be integrated into the research.

Broader Impacts

The project has significant relevance to local communities as well as more broadly across the US. Researchers engage with diverse stakeholders (farmers, rural and urban residents, lake side residents and local to national level government agencies) and address water quality issues from a broad number of perspectives.

Understanding how best to represent high-frequency data for use by stakeholders will be of broad interest beyond the three participating states. Appropriate displays of high-frequency data could allow policy makers and managers to accelerate their responses to low flow, drought and severe storm events, which are predicted to be more frequent and of higher intensity for our region, thereby reducing deleterious effects.


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