Based off of predictions of future urban landscapes, hydrologists and engineers can estimate the affects that land-use changes will have on nutrient cycles and water quality. For example, in more highly urbanization areas, rainwater hitting parking lots, roads, rooftops will runoff into streams, often carrying salt and nitrogen compounds that degrade nearby waterways.
Similarly, built structure such as bridges, channels and culverts can alter streams and rivers and disrupt aquatic ecosystems. By coupling economic and hydrologic models, the multidisciplinary research effort aims to develop a comprehensive model that policymakers can use to gauge the environmental impact of various land use regulations.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) grant is one of only three awarded in a national competition. The funds will be shared by 13 investigators at the University of Maryland, the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Pennsylvania State University, Princeton University, Ohio State University, the University of Rhode Island, the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, US Geological Survey, and USDA Forest Service.
About $1 million of the five-year grant from the NSF Water Sustainability and Climate program will go towards the social science component of the project, including $200,000 for Professor Towe's research at the University of Maryland.
|Contact: David Ottalini|
University of Maryland