To engage with society to create resilient engineered solutions for global water challenges.
Our water systems are facing global threats that include:
- Climate change
- Population expansion
- Rapid urbanization
- Aging infrastructure
- Lack of capital
Addressing these issues requires transformative engineering approaches, blended with expertise from the fields of economics, political science, sociology, public health, horticulture, and climate science. Without resiliency, the ability to recover or rebound from trauma, integrated into infrastructure, there is a direct negative impact on the quality of life and the foundation of our society.
These threats are here with us now, as dramatically shown in recent years:
- Locally: flooding in Philadelphia, Camden, Upper Darby, and along the New Jersey coast
- Nationally: water quality in Flint, MI; extreme floods and droughts in California; and hurricane destruction in New Orleans, Houston, and Puerto Rico
- Internationally: limited water supply in Panama; combined sewers in Paris; hurricanes in the Caribbean
The consequences of water-related problems are exacerbated for our underserved communities. There has been an acceleration of knowledge and technology in recent years that is now forcing the hand of engineering design to question standards and move to smarter and more resilient systems.
The engineering researchers at Villanova University believe that they have a moral obligation to pursue knowledge to address these threats and seek opportunities for global change.