An interdisciplinary team of Utah and Wyoming researchers, led by Norm Jones, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Brigham Young University, received a $6 million National Science Foundation award for the project, which participants say could glean critical information to help answer questions about environmental sustainability in the arid Western states. The team plans to develop high-performance computer modeling and computational resources known as cyberinfrastructure to simulate how factors such as population growth, land use and climate variability might impact water supplies in the Intermountain West. Participants include researchers from BYU, the University of Utah, Utah State University and the University of Wyoming. “The work of this team, which includes some of the leading researchers in hydrology and related fields in the Western United States, will lead to a greater understanding of long-term water resource forecasting than ever before,” Jones said in a written statement.
Zach Frankel, executive director of the Utah Rivers Council, said water managers from Western states are starting to look at water supplies in a more regional way, taking notice of the effect one state has on another…
Access to the new NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center, a facility slated to open in early 2012, could help the process. The team could develop simulations that better detail the hydrologic process, accounting for more variability in topography, land cover, geology and water management infrastructure, according to a statement from the researchers.
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