CSU Receives $2.2M for Water Quality Efforts

Nutrient pollution is one of America's most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems, and is caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in waterways. When excessive nitrogen and phosphorus enter our waterways, usually via stormwater runoff and industrial activities, our water can become polluted. Nutrient pollution has impacted many streams, rivers, lakes, bays and coastal waters for the past several decades, resulting in serious environmental and health issues, and negatively impacting the economy. For example, nutrient pollution can reduce oxygen levels in water, leading to illness and death of large numbers of fish. In some cases nutrient pollution leads to elevated toxins and bacterial growth in waters that can make people sick.
 
At the end of January, at the National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy announced a grant of $2.2 million to the Center for Comprehensive, OptimaL, and Effective Abatement of Nutrients (CLEAN) at Colorado State University to demonstrate sustainable solutions for reduction of nutrient pollution in the nation's waterways. Colorado State University is among four research institutions receiving a total of $9 million in EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants to advance innovative and sustainable water research to manage harmful nutrient pollution. The mission of Colorado State University’s CLEAN Center is to create knowledge, build capacity, and forge collaboration to develop and demonstrate sustainable solutions for reduction of nutrient pollution in the nation's water resources. Colorado State University researchers will use the EPA grant to lead a multi-stakeholder effort to study and control the sources of excess nutrients in wastewater, stormwater, agricultural water, and natural systems. Key areas of research include wastewater treatment technologies, water reuse systems, urban stormwater management, agricultural conservation, socioeconomic incentives, nutrient trading, and water rights.