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University of Iowa News Release


Dec. 19, 2008

UI researchers receive $899,391 NSF grant to improve water pollution monitoring

Jerry SchnoorUniversity of Iowa College of Engineering researchers have received a three-year, $899,391 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to improve water pollution monitoring.

Jerald Schnoor, professor of civil and environmental engineering, research engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering and project principal investigator, said that the goal of the project is to develop one of the most comprehensive water review systems of its kind.

"The project is an attempt to carry out plans for a local watershed observatory," said Schnoor, who also serves as co-director of the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER). "Using the resources of IIHR and CGRER, we will construct an intelligent, digital watershed at Clear Creek near Amana, Iowa, in the hope that observatory will serve as a model for a larger, nationwide water observatory."

Schnoor said that he hopes the project eventually will:

--Develop new knowledge and solutions for conventional water pollution problems.
--Help reduce the impact of floods and water shortages.
--Engage U.S. students and citizens in helping solve water problems.

The new NSF grant is related to a $500,000 NSF grant received by UI researchers in 2005 to assist the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Under the first phase of the project, 11 U.S. streambeds were designated test beds for a monitoring system that will eventually included many stream and river systems across the country. One of the 11 test beds for that phase of the project was a section of Clear Creek.

Schnoor's colleagues include: Andrew Kusiak, UI professor of industrial engineering; David Bennett, UI associate professor of geography; Marian Muste, UI adjunct professor of civil and environmental engineering and IIHR research engineer; and Silvia Secch of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University. A portion of the project will be conducted under a subcontract with Southern Illinois University.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,