Safe and Sustainable Water Resources (SSWR)
Research at the Atlantic Ecology Division
As described in the EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) Safe and Sustainable Water Resources (SSWR) Strategic Research Action Plan (PDF) (39 pp, 1 MB), ORD has identified problems related to our Nation’s water resources, and is developing the research needed for sustainable solutions to these 21st century water resource problems. The SSWR Research Program has two central, interrelated themes: Sustainable Water Resources, and Sustainable Water Infrastructure Systems. The goals of the first theme are to protect and restore water resources and their designated uses (e.g., drinking water, aquatic life, recreation, industrial processes) on a watershed scale. The goals of the second theme are to ensure that water of sufficient quality is available to meet human needs and to maintain resilient aquatic ecosystems through water infrastructure management approaches and through enabling behavioral changes in our citizens.
AED research identifies and develops the indicators that are most significant and effective in ensuring the sustainability and integrity of water resources. AED research also develops approaches to minimize the environmental impacts of naturally-occurring and anthropogenic contaminants, climate variability, changing human demographics, and different land use practices on the sustainability of surface and subsurface water resources.
AED research helps managers maintain and improve natural and engineered water systems to more effectively and sustainably protect the quantity and quality of water. AED research also develops systems-based approaches to identify and manage causes of degraded water resources and promote effective protection and recovery.