Faced with water resource challenges ranging from the loss of coastal wetlands to aging infrastructure, the National Resource Council has named Carnegie Mellon University's David Dzombak as chair of its U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Water Resources Science, Engineering, and Planning Committee.
At their first meeting, members discussed a number of emerging water resource challenges for the nation — including coastal restoration and management; aging locks and dams; protection of high-risk flood areas like New Orleans; and the overall implications of climate change.
"We will be developing an overview of emerging water resource challenges for the nation as our first task," said Dzombak, the Walter J. Blenko Sr. Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon and faculty director of the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research.
In addition to working with the Corps, the committee will work with experts and representatives from other federal agencies, including U.S. congressional staffers, state governments and the private sector.
"The water resource challenges confronting the nation are very complex, and involve scientific, financial, political and social aspects," Dzombak explained.
"The importance and complexity of water resource challenges speaks to the need for broadly educated, analytical professionals and citizens who understand the science involved, the options for society, the implications of these options for the present and future, and the need for carefully conceived solutions."
He added, "Carnegie Mellon aims to educate people with such broad skills and perspectives."
For more than two decades, Dzombak has conducted leading-edge research in the areas of aquatic chemistry, water quality engineering, abandoned mine drainage remediation, river and watershed restoration, and contaminated site remediation. He also has contributed to the expertise and professional service at the local, state and national levels.