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 Adaptive Engineering

Image: Adaptive Engineering
Engineering measures, such as alternative water resource development, are designed according to specific types of watershed and regional climate conditions. In this context, adaptive engineering embraces the engineering science and practice that will successively adjust the designs and operations for the best combination of economics, effectiveness, and flexibility. In the areas of sustainable watershed and infrastructure development, WRAP researchers are continually developing adaptive tools and methods:

Water Reuse – This new research identifies regions in the United States where potable and nonpotable water reuse needs to be implemented under future climatic conditions. Efforts are spent on other research projects 1) to develop sustainable wastewater reuse technologies, 2) to determine the fate and transport of conventional and emerging contaminants in wastewater reuse practices, and 3) to investigate water quality changes during reclaimed water conveyance from the treatment plant to application locations.

Water Saving – An average of 20 percent—and up to 50 percent—of finished drinking water is lost when the water is distributed from water plants to the consumer’s tap. Accompanying that loss is deterioration in water quality caused by leaking water pipes. By developing and applying advanced technologies to detect leaking pipes buried in the ground for increased water loss mitigation, WRAP’s research leads to both improved water conservation and compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Watershed Adaptation – Watershed adaptation is integrating watershed management principles and practices, coherently and adaptively, to future climatic and socioeconomic conditions. WRAP’s research objective is sustainable water quality management and water resources development. Current research centers on two areas of best management practices (BMPs): soil carbon sequestration and nonpoint source pollution prevention.

Smart Drinking Water Distribution – As we meet the challenges of a growing demand for clean drinking water, lower water infrastructure costs, and high-efficiency water delivery, the solutions we choose to implement must be adaptable. This adaptability is concerned with future climate conditions and the dynamic relationships among population growth, water quality protection, the carbon footprint of water supplies, and operational economics. The application of smart growth principles, such as adopting water conservation policies and maintaining an energy-efficient water infrastructure, is the key to sustainable water supply and resources development.


Dr. Y. Jeffrey Yang, P.E., D.WRE (513) 569-7655

Dan Murray, P.E. (513) 569-7522

Roy Haught (513) 569-7067

Dr. James A. Goodrich (513) 569-7605

See Also

Water Recycling and Reuse

Leak Detection

Water Demand and Demographic Changes

Climate Mitigation Sustainability

Water Availability


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