Oregon lands $4M from NSF to study water management

Three Oregon universities are working together on a five-year study of climate change, population growth and water availability, a project supported by a $4.3 million National Science Foundation grant.

Faculty from Oregon State University, the University of Oregon and Portland State University will work together on "Willamette Water 2100," a study that will use Oregon's Willamette River basin as a test case for managing regional water supply.

The project will set out to answer three questions:

• Where are human activity and climate change most likely to create conditions of water scarcity?

• Where is water scarcity most likely to exert the greatest impact on ecosystems and communities?

• What strategies would allow communities to prevent, mitigate or adapt to scarcity most successfully?

Researchers will incorporate policy makers' outlooks and water users' viewpoints into a computer-modeling tool, called Envision, developed by OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences and the College of Science.

The project builds on the Willamette River Basin Planning Atlas, created in 2002 by researchers at the University of Oregon and OSU.

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