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Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CP staff

A $3.9 million federal grant will enable University of Texas at Austin (UT) to create a research center for sustainable water infrastructure modeling. As cities around the country struggle to manage flooding and pollution from stormwater runoff, “UT will help develop sustainable solutions to 21st century water problems, while working with communities to promote green infrastructure,” affirms EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry.

The Center for Infrastructure Modeling and Management will use open source models; share infrastructure tools and research with local agencies and stakeholders; and, be open to the public, allowing for community engagement with individuals interested in water infrastructure modeling.

EPA and UT officials announced the center at an Austin event held to raise awareness of water issues and potential solutions, noting how research provides the science and tools necessary to ensure water quality and availability while protecting human and ecosystem health. As climate change warms the atmosphere and the hydrologic cycle, EPA contends, 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 aquatic and marine environment quality. Such impacts are likely to affect programs designed to protect water, public health and safety.