EPA awards $4M in grants to research impact of drought on water quality

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced $4 million in grants to four institutions to conduct research that focuses on combating the effects of drought and extreme events on water quality in watersheds and at drinking water utilities.

WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 5, 2015 -- Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $4 million in grants to four institutions to conduct research that focuses on combating the effects of drought and extreme events on water quality in watersheds and at drinking water utilities.

These grants will provide innovative strategies for protecting water quality and public health during periods of drought. Increasing demands on the nation's water resources, climate change, population growth, and aging water infrastructure systems pose substantial threats to these resources.

"As a nation, we are witnessing the harmful effects of droughts and extreme events, such as wildfires and flooding, that often follow drought conditions," said Thomas A. Burke, EPA Science Advisor and Deputy Assistant Administrator of Office of Research and Development. "This research will provide innovative strategies to help local communities, states, tribes, and the federal government better understand the impacts of these problems and better protect our nation's water and the health of our friends and families who rely on those water resources."

The following institutions received funding through the EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program:

  • Clemson University, Clemson, S.C., for investigating the effects of different forest fire reduction management techniques, such as prescribed burns or mechanical thinning, in experimental forested watersheds associated with rainstorm events following droughts and the impact on treated drinking water supplies.
  • Water Research Foundation, University of Colorado at Boulder, Colo., for developing an integrated modeling and decision framework to evaluate adaptation strategies for sustainable drinking water utility management impacted by drought and climate change.
  • Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, Calif., for synthesizing the current drought situation and its effects on water supply and quality, and conducting an assessment that examines the drought response by federal, state and local institutions to develop innovations needed for sustainable drought management.
  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, for developing and integrating tools, models, and educational materials that can be used by stakeholders to improve planning efforts related to water supply, forecasting demand for water, and nutrient reduction.

See also:

"EPA awards over $9M to Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands"

"EPA finalizes rule to modernize CWA reporting for utilities, municipalities"

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