The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tuesday awarded $4.8 million to six universities to study the benefits of water quality. The funding is available for the universities to work with local communities to better understand the economic value of water quality. Thomas Burke of the EPA’s Research and Development office says the grants will “help measure the costs and benefits of improving water quality.” In a news release, the EPA says chemical and microbial contaminants continue to reduce the quality of water – and often at a rate that outpaces water quality improvements from regulatory actions. The grants were awarded to Clark University of Massachusetts, Ney Jersey’s Dartmouth College, The University of Connecticut, North Carolina State University, Michigan State University and Iowa State University.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.
From: Environmental Protection Agency
EPA Awards $4.8 million to Six Universities to Research Water Quality Benefits
“Clean water is a cornerstone of a healthy community. Many communities face challenging decisions about investing in the protection of water resources,” said Thomas Burke, EPA science advisory and deputy assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “These grants will help measure the costs and benefits of improving water quality, an important step toward protecting the environment and human health.”
Chemical and microbial contaminants continue to reduce the quality of our water – and often at a rate that outpaces water quality improvements from regulatory actions. The research grants announced today will help communities and experts conduct benefit-cost analyses for actions that protect our waterways.
This research will also provide a critical link between water quality science and the monetary value of the services that healthy waterways provide, including recreational uses.
The grants are being awarded to the following institutions:
- Clark University, Worcester, Mass. will estimate water quality benefits throughout river systems in the Northeast.
- Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H. will create a framework for linking the health of small streams to water quality indicators and ecosystem services that people recognize and fundamentally value.
- University of Connecticut, Storrs, Conn., will quantify the value of changes in water quality, both in terms of the value to the environment and their value to the economy.
- North Carolina State University at Raleigh, Raleigh, N.C., will develop and demonstrate methods for valuing the benefits of water quality in wadeable streams in Southeast watersheds where the surrounding area is undergoing increased urban development.
- Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich. will estimate value caused by changes in nutrients to the freshwater systems in Michigan.
- Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa will quantify the value water quality improvements in Midwestern ecosystems.