Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011MI188B

Interdisciplinary Water Science and Policy Modeling Workgroup

Institute: Michigan
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-03-01 End Date: 2012-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $15,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $30,574

Principal Investigators: Jinhua Zhao, Jon Bartholic

Abstract: These funds will be used for an interdisciplinary MSU faculty research team with linked modeling capacity to address critical questions related to water and policy. Team members will meet regularly throughout the grant period, present their own research as well as engage external speakers, with the target of eventually developing a large external grant proposal or a white paper. Their activities will contribute to the ultimate objective of building a linked modeling capacity that can address critical policy questions. The linkages will be between behavioral and biophysical models, as well as between different biophysical models.

There is increasingly demand for research outputs that link policy and social-economic changes and interventions to environmental and social impacts. These interventions change the behavior of decision makers (e.g., farmers) in the economy, which in turn impact the economy and the environment. Conversely, social and environmental changes also bring forth behavioral adjustments and adaptation. In the water sciences arena, many themes can be viewed as involving both human and natural domains, from stormwater management to water withdrawals from the Great Lakes. Michigans water management paradigm of multiple uses explicitly recognizes this coupled dynamic (Institute of Water Research).

To meet the challenges of addressing these problems, we propose to build up an interdisciplinary research team that develops a modeling capacity linked with policy. The multidisciplinary workgroup will be competitively selected. The team will meet regularly, led by both (a) a trained facilitator and (b) a research leader. Additional interactions will occur with external researchers and/ or stakeholders, depending on the precise focus.

The outcome will be a grant proposal or academic paper that has the potential of being published at a top multidisciplinary journal. In addition, stakeholders will be briefed on policy implications of the work. The ultimate objective is to build up a long-term modeling capacity that can address critical policy questions and evaluate their impacts on water.