Innovative Model to Help Urban Resource Managers Stop Stream Water Quality Degradation Before It Starts

Start Date: 
Jun 1, 2021
End Date: 
Jan 31, 2022
Summary: 

Graham Catalyst Grant

The grants provide support for small-scale, collaborative, and interdisciplinary sustainability research.

Innovative Model to Help Urban Resource Managers Stop Stream Water Quality Degradation Before It Starts

In urban settings, healthy stream ecosystems provide important services, including drinking water, recreation, and natural beauty. Urban stream water quality is determined by a complex set of variables that include water infrastructure design, land-development regulation, site design, and ecological contexts. This research team aims to create a first-of-its-kind multidisciplinary framework to approach urban water quality management. Together with the Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC), the team will pilot its work in the Huron River watershed.

Researchers will create a scenario-planning tool that HRWC and local jurisdictions can use to compare water-quality outcomes under different urban development scenarios from the regional pollutant-loading standards. The team will also publish an urban environment database with current conditions of all Huron River subwatersheds, which planners and researchers everywhere can access, adapt, and use. Parts of the project could become a state-of-the-art case study to introduce students to the concepts, methods, and solutions prevalent in the field of urban sustainability.

Project team: Runzi Wang, PI (U-M SEAS), Yang Chen (U-M Statistics), Robert Goodspeed (U-M TCAUP), Branko Kerkez (U-M Civil and Environmental Engineering), Joshua Newell (U-M SEAS)
Partner: Huron River Watershed Council

Sponsor: 
University of Michigan - Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute