Professor Nancy Love received a four-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for her project “Water and Health Infrastructure Resilience and Learning.” The overall goal of the project is to promote access to cleaner, safer drinking water for all communities. The project will provide new understanding as to how these systems interact, focusing on these systems during crisis events.
“When facing system upsets or crisis, water utilities and public health agencies have to work together to ensure public safety. We don’t want to wait for emergencies to identify appropriate actions or find ways to share data between these public service agencies,” said Love. “This grant is about showing how data from public health agencies and public drinking water systems can be used together, with expertise from both disciplines, to create best practices both under normal operating conditions and under crisis with a special emphasis on the most vulnerable populations in communities.”
Professor Love is collaborating on this project with co-PI and CEE Assistant Professor Branko Kerkez, along with researchers from Wayne State University, to examine drinking water and public health systems. The team will assess how different kinds of disruptions, from routine challenges to large-scale disasters, shape the community’s relationship to water systems. The project also aims to understand how tightly connected interdependent systems such as water and public health can help enhance resilience. Professor Love and her fellow researchers will also explore how these systems learn and adapt to changes and how the public engages with these systems.