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Extramural Research

Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

Preparing for the Impacts of Climate Change on Source Water Quality: A Decision Tool for Drinking Water Managers

EPA Grant Number: F08C20433
Title: Preparing for the Impacts of Climate Change on Source Water Quality: A Decision Tool for Drinking Water Managers
Investigators: Towler, Erin Lea
Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder
EPA Project Officer: Cobbs-Green, Gladys M.
Project Period: January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2009)
Research Category: Academic Fellowships



This research will follow a case study approach. First, drinking water utilities will be identified that anticipate having vulnerabilities in their source water quality as a result of climate change. Next, nonparametric statistical regression models will be used to relate historic climate to water quality. Then, climate output from a suite of Global Climate Models will be run through the model to assess the sensitivity of source water quality under climate change scenarios. Finally, the scenarios of future water quality will be used in a decision tool that will output the ‘optimal’ decision for the given criteria and planning alternatives.

Expected Results:

The outcome from this research will be a systematic framework that can be used to consider climate change in long-term water utility planning. The first part of the framework will provide a methodology to quantify the sensitivity of water quality to climate change. The results of this will be probabilistic, representing the range of plausible futures. In the second part of the framework, a decision tool will be developed that can input those probabilities and output an ‘optimal’ decision that is robust in light of climate change uncertainty.

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Air, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Atmosphere

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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