The National Science Foundation has awarded a group of Utah higher educational institutions and related organizations a five-year, $20 million competitive grant to help manage and protect one of the state’s most valuable and scarce resources, water. Utah State University will be lead on the research study.
The grant funds a statewide effort to assist in building the human and research infrastructure needed to sustainably manage Utah’s waters. The award, which went into effect July 1, creates iUTAH
, which stands for innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion
is an interdisciplinary effort among researchers from USU
, the University of Utah, Brigham Young University and two dozen other Utah institutions of higher education, industry and non-profit partners and government agencies. EPSCoR
(Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) partners in Alaska and Wyoming are also collaborating. The Utah EPSCoR
office coordinated the multi-partner effort, with the support of USTAR
“Utah is faring better than most states due, in part, to unprecedented partnerships in all aspects of our economy,” said Utah Gov
. Gary R. Herbert. “This public-private collaboration among so many educational, industry and government partners in tackling a key factor in long-term economic growth and quality of life is another example of our state’s can-do approach.”
The state’s largest EPSCoR
award to date, the grant provides $4 million per year for five years to fund the program. iUTAH
will explore how population growth, changing climate and land use affect the state’s water sustainability.
will strategically invest in projects aimed at monitoring and improving state water usage, while informing Utah residents of sustainable practices and educating future water scientists and managers. The program also promotes long-term collaboration among Utah institutions and provides interdisciplinary research opportunities to students, teachers and faculty from kindergarten through postgraduate school.
, professor in USU’s
Ecology Center and Department of Watershed Sciences, is the principal investigator on the project and NSF EPSCoR
director for Utah.
“Utah State University is excited to lead this initiative to strengthen the research infrastructure across the state,” said Stan Albrecht, president of USU
. “The results from iUTAH
will have a dramatic impact on how we understand and respond to changing water resource availability in Utah.”
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