A UNC Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering has been awarded a $2.2 million grant to develop strategies for meeting water supply demands in the Southeastern United States.

Gregory Characklis, alongside a team of hydrology, economics and engineering experts, received the grant from the National Science Foundation and the U.S Department of Agriculture.

Characklis and his team are developing a sustainable water management project to reduce water scarcity in the southeast caused by global climate change, population increase and limits on the development of new water sources. Experts in land use, climate, hydrological responses and members of local government will assist Characklis with the project, which will mainly be conducted in the state’s Research Triangle area.

“Unlike water-scarce regions, such as the Western United States, the infrastructure, legal and regulatory systems in the Southeast have developed in a manner that assumes an almost inexhaustible supply of water,” Characklis said in a press release. “An entirely new water-management paradigm is required to accommodate this new regional reality.”

Characklis is the director of the Center for Watershed Science and Management at the UNC Institute for the Environment. He is joined by other UNC researchers from the Gillings School of Public Health, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Government as well as collaborators from Cornell University and the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station.