Water resource management involves numerous and often distinct areas, such as hydrology, engineering, economics, public policy, chemistry, ecology and agriculture, among others. It is a multi-disciplinary field, each with its own set of challenges and, in turn, its own set of computer models. Jonathan Goodall at the University of Virginia is working to design an integrated computer modeling system that will seamlessly connect all the different models, enabling everyone involved in the water resources field to see the big picture. Find out more in this discovery.
Credit: Jonathan Goodall, University of South Carolina
The nearly 10 million people in the city and county of Los Angeles, Calif., require a lot of water--most of which is imported snow melt from the eastern Sierra Nevadas and Rocky Mountains, hundreds of miles away. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers Stephanie Pincetl and Mark Gold are studying how Los Angeles can reduce its water imports and better capture, store and reuse water for a more sustainable water supply. See more in this video.
Credit: NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation
The Office of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) was established as a result of strategic planning and reorganization of NSF's Engineering Directorate (ENG). EFRI serves a critical role in helping ENG focus on important emerging areas in a timely manner. Each year, EFRI will recommend, prioritize and fund interdisciplinary initiatives at the emerging frontier of engineering research and education.
"Engineering a Difference" follows three teams of engineering students and professional engineers as they work with communities in Ghana, Kenya and Nicaragua to build critical infrastructure. Together, they develop a clean water supply, electricity and a bridge to help isolated communities thrive.
May 12, 2014
Engineering researchers help Tucson plan for drier days ahead
New designs for water supply improve quality, use less energy
With water resources dwindling as the population continues to rise, many communities in the desert southwest are proactively seeking to make the tough choices now, so they can avoid more drastic measures in the future. The communities are seeking help from scientists and engineers, such as University of Arizona civil engineer Kevin Lansey.
With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Lansey and his colleagues are working to redesign Tucson's water supply infrastructure to help government planners and facility managers meet the growing water demands, while using less energy and improving water quality. Lansey's research group is developing computer models that integrate water and wastewater infrastructures, and can evaluate various system configurations in the face of complex, competing objectives and uncertainty.
"Kevin Lansey's research is in an area that is vital for the future of our nation. We call this the water-energy-food nexus. Climate change is putting immense pressure on this triad of resources, which are 'must haves' for society," says Bruce Hamilton, a program director who works with the NSF Engineering Directorate's Office of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation.
The work in this episode was supported by NSF award #0835930, EFRI-RESIN (Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructures): Optimization of conjunctive water supply and reuse systems with distributed treatment for high-growth, water-scarce regions.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.