While existing distributions of water have sustained human societies and natural ecosystems, rapid growth in water use by humans over recent decades has severely stressed these resources throughout much of the world. Complicating these stresses, shifts in weather patterns due to climate change will disrupt current patterns in consumptive, agricultural, and ecosystem use. If these climate changes are rapid — causing drought and flooding — their impacts on water distribution threaten not only human societal patterns, safety, and structures, but also the stability of ecosystems on a global level.
Areas of Research Focus
At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, research teams across the campus are focused on the various topics related to sustainable water management and the impacts of changing climate. These researchers include topical specialists and global leaders in areas addressing:
- the science and engineering of water movement across a highly managed globe;
- the development of technological solutions to sustainably manage water resources for human and ecosystem health;
- the development of strategies and policies used to guide societal choices in adopting the best of these technological solutions; and
- the development, calibration, and analysis of earth system models to address complexities in water supply and management under a changing climate.
Emily Poynter Jenkins
Stream restoration and water resources engineering
ILLINOIS RESEARCH CENTERS
ONGOING GRANTS & GRANT OPPORTUNITIES
Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Megan Konar is part of a multi-institutional team studying climate-related hazards — and their effect on food security — in sub-Saharan Africa. Read more about the team and its $2.5 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant here.