Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2014RI119B

Water Security, Sustainability, and Climate Impacts in Urban Regions

Institute: Rhode Island
Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-09-01 End Date: 2015-05-31
Total Federal Funds: $18,737 Total Non-Federal Funds: $37,833

Principal Investigators: Ali Akanda

Abstract: In the developed world, many old cities are going through major urban renewal projects. These projects aim to revitalize aging infrastructure and meet the needs of the changing demographics, and carefully plan to merge new design processes and technology among the old infrastructure. On the other hand, in emerging urban regions of the developing world, most new development is taking place without adequate urban or regional planning, and a majority population is crowded into densely populated settlements without basic infrastructure, also known as slums. In both developed and developing countries, such development projects have huge impacts on the urban hydrology – both quality and quantity – and in an issue that requires rigorous planning and analyses. The factor that consistently stands out among different cities in transition from both worlds is that the urban poor are typically left to be the most vulnerable to climatic threats, such as water scarcity and quality issues in drought conditions, or water and sanitation breakdown and stormwater contamination problems. In this proposal, we focus on three major cities from three different income groups of countries: Providence, RI, USA from the developed world (or the OECD group), Lagos, Nigeria from Middle-Income Countries (MICs), and Dhaka, Bangladesh from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). We propose to perform the following: (1) Compile a database of urban water quality and quantity indices in Providence, Lagos, and Dhaka with distinct urban land use, water usage, climate, and socio-economic characteristics; (2) Identify the impacts of climatic phenomena [Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), Pacific North American (PNA), El Nino–Southern Oscillation (ENSO)] on urban hydrology; and (3) Develop a framework to understand and quantify understand population vulnerability of the urban poor in the focus regions due to climatic and anthropogenic change.