Institute: District of Columbia
Year Established: 2010 Start Date: 2010-03-01 End Date: 2011-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $6,366 Total Non-Federal Funds: $33,832
Principal Investigators: Tolessa Deksissa, Catherine Shrier
Abstract: While the District of Colombia includes 6 major universities (American University, the Catholic University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Howard University, and the University of the District of Columbia) within an area of roughly 70 square miles, there is no cohesive water research community, nor is there any individual university with a strong and multidisciplinary water research focus. Recent evaluations of DCWRRI by USGS have identified the need for greater involvement by students and faculty at all of the area universities, as well as to involve the DC water stakeholders; and for the development of a network of peer reviewers for DCWRRI-funded research. Individual faculty at DC universities have expressed concerns regarding the need for a greater understanding of proposal expectations for grant funding programs, information on related research underway at other DC universities, and opportunities for the development of multidisciplinary teams to address water resources research. Several DC area agencies and policymakers have expressed a strong interest in developing the District of Columbia as a green city providing leading research and programs on green urban infrastructure. Stakeholders who comprise the DCWRRI Advisory Board (including Washington Aqueduct; DC Water and Sewer Authority; Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments; Anacostia Watershed Toxics Alliance; Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin; DC Department of Environmental Protection; Friends of Rock Creek; and Chesapeake Bay Foundation) have identified research needs that can be addressed by DC area faculty, as well as the need to develop future employees with an understanding of DC water issues. DC-based federal agency personnel, consulting firms and other water professionals involved in regional associations such as the National Capital Region chapter of the American Water Resources Associations have expressed similar research and hiring needs which can be met, in part, through local university researchers and graduates. These issues may be addressed through the development of a cohesive, concurrently, and coordinated series of programs through which students, faculty, stakeholders and other members of the DC-area professional community can exchange information on issues, research opportunities, and recent findings, including the following components: 1) Summer Water Tours (pilot program to be developed for Summer 2010) 2) DC Water Issues Weekly Seminar Series (pilot program to be developed for Fall 2010) 3) DC Water Faculty Monthly Professional Development Brownbag Lunch Series (pilot program to be developed for Fall 2010) 4) Plan Development for Semi-Annual Forums on DC Water Research and Issues (plan to be developed in 2010 for implementation in 2010 or 2011) 5) Evaluation and report on DC Water Research Community Development programs (Winter 2011).