The Water Center was awarded a grant from The Water Research Foundation!

puddle in rain

By: Miriam Hacker

Senior Research Implementation Lead, the Water Center at Penn

The Water Research Foundation (WRF) is the world’s leading One Water research and innovation organization representing approximately 1,200 subscribers, with an online research library of more than 2,300 projects valued at $700 million. To learn more about WRF you can visit their website here:

Project Description: 
Utilities, municipalities, and counties are at a crossroads; not only must they face external stressors due to climate change (e.g. extreme events with increasing frequency and intensity), but they must also address aging infrastructure, population shifts (densification and shrinking cities), and additional pressure on networks already over-capacity. Adaptive management strategies for improving water management policies and practice based on past experiences is needed to appropriately account for such uncertainty. This project focuses on finding the balance (or the “sweet spot”) for how utilities select adaptive volume and pollutant source control best management practices (BMPs) for wet weather events using a holistic, or triple-bottom line approach. Strategies will be geospatially analyzed across three EPA regions (Regions 3, 5, and another TBD) to provide a decision-support framework for utilities and impacted communities to explore options for wet weather management based on their local context and desired goals.

Project Outcomes:

  • Guidance document with a decision support framework
  • Interactive ESRI StoryMap
  • Public outreach factsheets 
  • Academic peer-review journal article

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Thank you to WRF for their support of this important work.

    Research Focus

  • Community Capacity Building & Water Equity
  • Water Infrastructure Research
  • Flood Risk Stormwater Management
About Miriam Hacker

Miriam Hacker, former Senior Research Implementation Lead at the Water Center, has a background in civil engineering from the University of Washington and a passion for understanding social implications from water and wastewater issues. Her professional experience includes stormwater regulation at a local level and strategic coordination in international development. Her doctoral research in civil engineering investigated the coordination of temporary accommodation for people seeking asylum in Germany, Sweden and Lebanon. Most recently, her work as a postdoctoral researcher with the Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) focused on the socio-technical barriers for adoption of on-site water reuse at a city level in the United States. As cities look to adapt water and wastewater infrastructure to climate change, Miriam’s passion lies in the organizational and institutional response to these initiatives and impacts for the local community.