Adequate quantity and quality of water is necessary for human health, the health of nature?s ecosystems. It is also important to commercial water-dependent commercial enterprises. Siloed water systems are no longer adequate to ensure continued and equitable access. Instead, engineered water systems need to become smart, connected, sustainable, and resilient to properly manage water services for communities facing a multitude of new challenges. Current systems are ill-equipped to deal with increasing extreme events, conflicts between ecosystem and human society demands, rapid global urbanization, and infrastructure deterioration. Advances in hydrology, ecology, biogeochemistry, engineering, and systems analysis enable the redesign of better engineered water systems. The Smart One Water Cyber-Physical-Social infrastructure ERC (SOW) aims to transform the way people interact with water services by advancing technologies for better management of engineered and natural water systems.

The SOW-ERC will foster the development of a new generation of water systems that will provide timely and accurate information on water challenges through automation, efficient monitoring, analysis, control, and performance evaluation. Deploying the SOW paradigm at a national scale requires the development of new cyberinfrastructure that supports (1) system-of-systems analyses at multiple spatial and temporal scales, (2) innovative cyber-enabled observation and stakeholder engagement technologies, and (3) novel smart and connected decision support. These developments will transform water sector governance, policies, engineering methods, and social practices. The SOW will advance the water sector by use of basin-scale real-time information in natural, social, behavioral and built systems, and machine intelligence for operationalizing sustainability, and resiliency. This planning grant is aimed at creating collaborative research ecosystems to facilitate new and to deepen partnerships that are advancing fundamental knowledge of water systems to improve decision- making, governance, and policy. Leveraging expertise across multiple disciplines will advance a vision for novel knowledge and problem-solving frameworks that span the realm of diverse water systems.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC)
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Deborah Jackson
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United States
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