Water

Sector Overview 
Investigating how climate change may impact how water supplies and quality change in the urban Northeast is critical building resilience.

The CCRUN water sector team is lead by Dr. Richard Palmer at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Phase I Highlights 
Evaluation of the potential impacts of climate change on the millions of individuals in the Boston-NYC-Philadelphia urban corridor served by some of the major water supply utilities in the region.

Tools and models were created and utilized for the three cities to calculate climate-induced impacts on water availability.

Phase II Research Plans

The water sector team plans to expand beyond a quantity-only approach, looking at the effect of higher peak flows on water quality and flooding.

The three areas of potential greatest benefit are:
1) Examining the probability, impacts, and cumulative risks of urban flooding
2) Creating a better understanding of the quantity-quality-demand impacts of climate change on water in the urban corridor
3) Developing an integrated climate impacted urban water management model

New research topics for the water team include seeking to explore the effects of climate change on water systems that provide our drinking water (typically outside of cities), the altered natural aquatic environment in and around our cities, and the transport of sediment, nutrients, and temperature that are the interface between these systems.