Departmental notes: Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineering Professor Julie Zimmerman and Assistant Professor of Environmental Economics Shelia Olmstead have received a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study water management issues in the Great Lakes system, one of the largest freshwater systems in the United States. The Great Lakes were chosen because of their large volume and high economics influence, as well as complex maintenance and policy issues.

The project has an ambitious scope, hoping to use physical and economics models to show how various factors directly and indirectly affect water quality and availability in different scenarios such as population growth, climate change, shifts in land use, and emissions. They also hope to develop a cost framework for determining the value of a certain amount of water available at specific times, locations, and purity levels.

Co-investigators include Alex Mayer, Jim Mihelic, David Watkins, and Qiong Zhang at Michigan Technological University.