VILLANOVA CENTER FOR RESILIENT WATER SYSTEMS

Constructed Stormwater Wetland
Constructed Stormwater Wetland

Through interdisciplinary engineering research—environmental, geotechnical, water resources—the Villanova Center for Resilient Water Systems (VCRWS) engages with society to create resilient solutions to global water challenges.

VCRWS AT A GLANCE

20+

YEARS OF STORMWATER RESEARCH

14

ACTIVE GRANTS

8

FUNDING SOURCES

6

FACULTY MEMBERS

3

RESEARCH INTENSIVE LABS

20+

MONITORED RAIN GARDENS

OUR RESEARCH

The Villanova Center for Resilient Water Systems is home to the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership whose mission is to advance the evolving field of sustainable stormwater management and to foster the development of public and private partnerships through research.

Some of our funders include:

  • Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant
  • Philadelphia Water Department
  • William Penn Foundation
  • National Science Foundation
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener Grants and 319 Nonpoint Source National Monitoring Plan, for which we just celebrated our 20th year of participation!

The following is a small snapshot of some of the ongoing research projects being conducted:

CURRENT PROJECTS

Bio Infiltration Traffic Island
Located on Villanova University’s West Campus, this rain garden has been monitored since 2003 and was designed to reduce downstream stormwater volumes, stream bank erosion and nonpoint source pollution to the headwaters of the Darby Creek.

The Commons
The student housing development on Lancaster Avenue was developed with new stormwater infrastructure, including nine rain gardens to handle the site’s stormwater runoff.

Granite Run Project
Five streams in Delaware County, Pa., are monitored to evaluate the effectiveness of stormwater controls near the site of a redevelopment of the former Granite Run Mall.

Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI)
DRWI is a cross-cutting collaboration working to conserve and restore the streams that supply drinking water to 15 million people in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Constructed Stormwater Wetland (CSW)
The CSW treats over 42 acres of stormwater runoff on Villanova University’s main and west campus, and is one of the oldest stormwater control measures within VCRWS.

I-95 PennDOT Project
VCRWS researchers have installed rain gardens along I-95 to help mitigate the additional impervious surface created with the expansion of the interstate.

Aligning with Villanova’s mission of veritas, unitas, and caritas, we value and seek to empower all members of our community to develop their potential, bring their full self to the goals of VCRWS, and engage in a community of inclusion. This mission is a common responsibility for all VCRWS members.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are integral components of the teaching and learning experience and an essential element of the ongoing intellectual, social, and spiritual development of every member of the Villanova Community.  

Director
Dr. Robert Traver
Phone: (610) 519-7899
Email: robert.traver@villanova.edu

Coordinator
Erin Malanowski
Phone: (610) 519-6694
Email: vcrws@villanova.edu

FOLLOW US

VCRWS NEWS

Dr. Virginia Smith

Shifting the Flood Paradigm | TED.com

Dr. Virginia’s Smith TEDxVillanovaU talk is being showcased on TED.com. It is the first Villanova talk to be promoted on this international stage. Her captivating talk presents why water resource planning is fundamental for a more sustainable world, how her cutting edge research is addressing growing global flood crises, and what you can do to help shift the flood paradigm.

Climate change is straining Philly’s 19th century sewage system | The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 10, 2021

Climate change is straining Philly’s 19th century sewage system | The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 10, 2021

Dr. Robert Traver, director of the Villanova Center for Resilient Water Systems and the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership, spoke to The Philadelphia Inquirer about the remnants of Hurricane Ida serving as a “wake up call.” He said Philadelphia is taking a solid step in identifying the impacts on flood-prone areas in order to assess needs.

Dr. Robert Traver

Flooding after Ida brings new focus on Philadelphia's aging infrastructure | WPVI-TV, 6ABC, Sept. 13, 2021

Dr. Robert Traver, director of the Villanova Center for Resilient Water Systems, spoke to 6ABC News about the recent flooding in Philadelphia and how planning for the future is key as is understanding our climate as it changes.