U-M Water Center

The Water Center engages researchers, practitioners, policymakers and nonprofit groups to support, integrate and improve current and future freshwater restoration and protection efforts. The Water Center is supporting the work of 37 project teams comprised of more than 180 researchers representing 55 universities in the United States and Canada. The Water Center was made possible by a $4.5 million, three-year grant from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation and additional funds from the university.

$20M the amount of research funding awarded to the U-M Water Center to help lead national estuary research program

Coordinating National Estuary Water Quality Research

The Water Center has joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in overseeing research at a nationwide network of 28 coastal reserves. The Water Center is helping to coordinate the National Estuarine Research Reserve System's collaborative science program, which supports water-quality monitoring and long-term research on the impacts of land-use change, pollution and habitat degradation in the context of climate change trends.

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Green Infrastructure project in Detroit

Another Water Center project addresses sustainability in four Detroit neighborhoods through incorporation of green infrastructure approaches to reduce excessive stormwater runoff, which can lead to sewer overflows. GI manages stormwater by using distributed source controls that incorporate vegetation and soils to alleviate peak flows and treat associated pollutants. The result is improved freshwater quality.

A team of U-M researchers and one from Wayne State University will work closely with the Detroit Land Bank Authority to assess and compare the neighborhoods looking at two main components: water quality and aquatic toxicology assessment, and neighborhood satisfaction, engagement and health assessment.

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Photo: 123RF.com

Hydraulic fracturing in Michigan

U-M researchers released a detailed draft analysis of policy options for hydraulic fracturing, the natural gas and oil extraction process commonly known as fracking. The U-M Hydraulic Fracturing in Michigan Integrated Assessment is an analysis of Michigan-specific options in the areas of public participation, water resources and chemical use related to high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Faculty researchers wrote the draft report with support from students and Graham Sustainability Institute staff members. It is the main product of the second phase of a two-year project that previous produced seven detailed, peer-reviewed hydraulic fracturing technical reports, released in September 2013. Taken together, the two-part U-M integrated assessment is the most comprehensive Michigan-focused resource on hydraulic fracturing.