FIU leads national study on South Florida’s water supply

A team of researchers led by FIU has been awarded a $5million grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct a five-year study of South Florida’s water supply.

Everglades National Park

The study is part of the National Science Foundation’s Water, Sustainability and Climate program dedicated to enhancing the understanding of andpredicting the interactions between the water system and land use changes, the built environment, ecosystem function and services and climate change/variability through place-based research and integrative models.

Every day in South Florida about 7.7 million people, companies and farms, use more than 3 billion gallons of water. And with the expected growth in South Florida population, it is necessary to find different ways to optimize water use in the area.

“This research will help south Florida to understand the economic and ecological values of its water resources, and use this information to shed light on the trade-offs that decision makers will be faced with in the next century,” said project leader Mike Sukop, associate professor in the Department of Earth and Environment in FIU’s College of Arts & Sciences. “It’s important that we begin this work now because sea level rise may start to have dramatic effects on South Florida in the coming decades, and water managers are likely to be challenged both by flooding and water supply problems.”

This study continues the university’s leadership as one of the top water research universities in the country, with funded projects in water issues ranging from water supply, sanitation, and wetland ecosystems to water resources management and public policy. Under this grant, FIU will coordinate the efforts of scholars and scientists from the University of Miami, University of South Florida, University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, University of Hawaii, Michigan Technological University, Pennsylvania State University, and University of Pennsylvania, along with researchers from Geodesign Technologies.

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