WFI Kickoff May 9th

Join the Environmental Resilience Institute as we kickoff the Water Futures Initiative on May 9th and 10th. During the event, attendees will be introduced to each of three WFI working groups, the working group lead researchers. Attending the May 9th event is your first (and best) opportunity to join a working group to discuss directions, expectations, and participation within the wider university group. Your participation in the event will help sharpen and finalize the scope of each working group. The three working groups are composed of interdisciplinary researchers focusing on three major environmental challenges. Three UVA faculty were recently selected to join our three WFI visiting faculty fellows. Congratulations to Louis Garrick, Xi Yang, and Willis Jenkins as they co-lead our WFI workgroups. Read more below to learn about the WFI Workgroup and their co-leads, and get registered to attend.

Water Security, Justice and Politics

Workgroup Leads
Image of Paolo D'Odorico

Paolo D'Odorico

Environmental Science,

Policy, & Management,

UC Berkeley

Image of Willis Jenkins

Willis Jenkins

Willis Jenkins Hollingsworth

Professor of Ethics Chair |

Department of Religious Studies

Increasing water demand for municipal uses, agriculture, and other businesses raises concerns about meeting human needs with the earth’s limited freshwater resources. This workgroup needs your help to address questions including: How is water scarcity simultaneously affecting the global economy and the basic human right of access to clean and sufficient water. What is the ‘safe operating space’ in water use for both the environment and society to ensure a prosperous and just future? Read more about this workgroup…


Resilient Urban Water Systems

Workgroup Leads
Image of Charles Vorosmarty

Charles Vorosmarty

Director & Einstein Professor

Environmental Sciences Initiative;

The City College of New York

Department of Civil Engineering

Image of Garrick Louis

Garrick Louis

Associate Professor

This working group will investigate the socio-environmental conditions and development potential and constraints of green and grey urban water resources that will achieve resilient, equitable solutions to urban water management. As a member of this workgroup you would consider questions like: How can we best use principles drawn from natural ecosystems – in tandem with those from engineering, design and institutional frameworks – to develop and operate resilient water systems?  How can we provide reliable, productive, and equitable water systems that minimize hazard and waste in the most densely populated habitats of the planet (21st century cities) and their contributing watersheds. Read more about this workgroup…


Coastal Land Margins

Workgroup Leads
Photo of Emily Bernhardt

Emily Bernhardt

Jerry G. and Patricia Crawford Hubbard Professor,

Nicholas School of the Environment,

Duke University

Image of Xi Yang

Xi Yang

Assistant Professor of

Environmental Sciences

This workgroup will explore likely futures, and potential management strategies for US Coastal Waters, considering climate, land use and socioeconomic change impacts. Questions the workgroup may considering include: What are the primary challenges and strategies to mitigate impacts of current and future social and environmental change to coastal waters, ecosystems and resources on the East Coast of North America?  Coastal waters are defined as the freshwaters on the coastal plain (including groundwater) and brackish and saline waters in coastal creeks, wetlands and estuaries. Read more about this workgroup…