Year 1 Focus: Stakeholder Engagement

UWIN’s inaugural year focused on stakeholder engagement ­– integrating academics with utility managers, sustainability directors and other key personnel in major cities and leaders of nonprofits. Over the span of the last year, we held workshops in Miami, Baltimore, Salem, Ore.,Tucson and Fort Collins.

During the stakeholder meetings, the UWIN stakeholder engagement team focused on four points:

  1. Concerns and challenges confronting urban water systems;
  2. Solutions and success stories; potential solutions that haven’t been implemented
  3. Impediments to the adoption of those potential solutions.

Essentially, UWIN is trying to establish a catalogue of issues that confront urban water systems across the country in order to learn from these communities as to how our research can help them.

Read the full article here

Key Messages

The key messages we’ve collected so far are that while challenges run the gamut, common problems are emerging. Technical solutions are available, but what stands in the way is policy and politics.

We are also finding that impacts from climate change, be they flooding, drought or other water-related crises, tend to disproportionately affect communities of limited means.  In response, this past spring the UWIN received supplemental NSF funding to add a social, environmental and economic justice component (Project C3-1) to its mission. Heading up those efforts is Sharon Harland, a professor at Northeastern University.


Upcoming efforts by UWIN include:

  • Journal papers – scientific papers publishing a variety of research topics; visit our Zotero Group Library to see a full list of project publications
  • Water Connect – a website to provide a unified place for urban data analytics tools;
  • An upcoming webinar series focused on UWIN themes and urban water challenges

The grant includes an educational component, bringing undergraduate students from different universities to CSU to work on water-related projects with CSU faculty. The first summer cohort just finished up.

The primary goal of the annual meeting is to gain a mutual understanding of our common framework and desired contributions to the urban water blueprint. The meeting took place at Colorado State University in early August.  Over 70 researchers, students and staff from across the country attended the three-day meeting in Fort Collins.  Learn more about the annual meeting here.

Meeting Agenda

August 3, 2016

Focus on discussion of strengths and weaknesses of Year 1 activities, re-alignment of approaches and activities

Continental Breakfast

Welcome & Introductions

Summary of Year 1 Activities

Stakeholder Engagement


Undergraduate Research Program

Education Project Evaluation

Research Programs

Lunch (provided)

  • UK Water Partnership Strategic Agenda

Facilitated Discussions & Workshops

  • Re-alignment of activities
  • Research collaboration
  • Project website
  • Research Notes
  • Trello
  • eRAMS

Day 1 Wrap-up

Activity: Group Dinner – 6:30pm


August 4, 2016

Focus on the progress of research activities and how research efforts fit into the blueprint

Continental Breakfast

Research Reports – Thrust A: Understanding the Water System

  • Project A1-1: multi-scale, multi-model dynamical-probabilistic approach to quantifying vulnerability, resiliency and adaptability of US urban water systems to climatic and socio-economic variability – Jorge Ramirez, CSU
  • Project A1-2: Impacts of changes in climate, demographics, and urban form on water supply-demand equilibrium, economic growth, and social equity and equal opportunity -Elizabeth Mack, MSU
  • Project A2-1: Land-atmosphere-hydrosphere interactions in urban terrain – Elie Bou-Zeid, Princeton University
  • Project A2-2: Land-atmosphere-hydrosphere interactions: projecting future environmental change in urban areas – Matei Georgescu, ASU
  • Project A2-3: Assessing the thermal comfort implications of water-supported urban infrastructure at the human scale – David Hondula, ASU
  • Project A2-4: Assessment and design of innovative building systems and urban infrastructure to mediate impacts on the urban water cycle, heat island, and regional climate – Forrest Meggers, Princeton
  • Project A3-1: Continental Scale Variation in Urban Vegetation Biodiversity – Ecosystem Functioning – Darrel Jenerette, UC-Riverside


Research Reports – Thrust B: Technological Solutions

  • Project B1-1: Water management solutions to enhance capacity for use of alternative water sources – Sybil Sharvelle, CSU
  • Project B1-2: Spatially- and temporally-informed life-cycle assessment of urban water systems – Jennifer Stokes, UC-Berkley
  • Project B2-1: Comparative impact of Green Infrastructure impact across UWIN Urban Systems – Tom Meixner, UA
  • Project B2-2a: Flood hydrology and rainfall frequency – Jim Smith, Princeton University
  • Project B2-2b: Hydrology and hydraulics of urban floodplains – Brian Bledsoe, University of Georgia

Lunch (provided)

  • Affinity Group Meetings

Research Reports – Thrust C: From knowledge to action

  • C1-1: Understanding the Adoption of Sustainable Water Solutions – Adam Henry & Gary Pivo, UA
  • C2-1: Using dynamic information acceleration to understand and forecast homeowner adoption of new technologies for sustainable water management – Jessica Bolson, FIU
  • C3-1 SEEJ: Sustainable water solutions and social justice/equity implications – Sharon Harlan, Northeastern University


Research Reports – Thrust D: Integration and Decision Making

  • D1-1: UWIN Envision Modeling of Present and Future Values for Sustainable Water Management Blueprint Indicators – Roy Haggerty, OSU
  • D1-2: Cross-site comparisons and contrasts across ecohydrologic regions – Mazdak Arabi, CSU
  • D1-3: UWIN decision innovation system – Mazdak Arabi, CSU



Activity: Group Dinner in Old Town – 6:30 pm


August 5, 2015 (half-day)

Focus on project management & external advisory committee meeting

Continental Breakfast & Affinity Group Meetings

Project Management Plan

  • Roles and Responsibilities            

External Advisory Committee Meeting (separate session)

Project Management Tools

  • Monthly Thrust level meetings
  • Bi-weekly seminars
  • Research digest notes


External Advisory Committee Report 

Partners and Collaborations      

Final Wrap Up

Lunch (boxed meal provided)

Activity: New Belgium Brewery Sustainability Tour