Climate change is creating an urgent need for better stormwater management. The University of Texas is up to the challenge.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced it's awarding more than $3.9 million to the University of Texas at Austin to develop a center for sustainable water infrastructure modeling research.
“Cities around the country are struggling to manage flooding and pollution from stormwater runoff, and climate change is making things even more urgent,” says EPA's regional administrator Ron Curry. “UT will help develop sustainable solutions to 21st century water problems while working with communities and coders to promote green infrastructure.”
The Center for Infrastructure Modeling and Management will use open-source water infrastructure models while sharing green infrastructure tools and research with local communities and stakeholders. The center also will be open to the public, allowing for community engagement with individuals interested in water infrastructure modeling.
The EPA and UT announced the project at an event in Austin held to raise awareness of water issues and potential solutions in the United States. Water research provides the science and tools necessary to ensure water quality and availability while protecting ecosystem health.
Climate change is altering assumptions about water resources, according to the EPA. As climate change warms the atmosphere — altering the hydrologic cycle — changes to the amount, timing, form and intensity of precipitation will continue.
Other expected changes include the flow of water in watersheds, as well as the quality of aquatic and marine environments. These issues are likely to affect the programs designed to protect water quality, public health and safety.