EPA awards $7M for grants to research groundwater access

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Sept. 21 that $7 million in funding will go to four institutions to research the use and risks of enhanced aquifer recharge to improve groundwater access and quality.

Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, is one of those receiving funding. Their project will be to increase enhanced aquifer recharged adoption by understanding the mobilization of contaminants and the risks to water quality in key aquifer systems throughout the U.S.

Enhanced aquifer recharge, or EAR, is the practice of using water sources to restore existing groundwater supplies for storage, reuse and streamflow. While implementation and management has been a topic of research for many years, significant knowledge gaps require continued research to find the best practices in the design, siting, performance (hydrologic and water quality), longevity, maintenance and monitoring in different land use and hydrogeologic environments.

The Science to Achieve Results research funding will assist communities throughout the United States in deciding whether and how to invest in EAR strategies to enhance water supplies, protect water quality, maintain aquatic ecosystems, reduce sinking land and avoid seawater intrusion. The County of Los Angeles, Oklahoma State University and Virginia Polytechnical University and State University also received funding for EAR projects.

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