UF WATER INSTITUTE ACCOMPLISHMENT REPORT
June 2006-June 2008
Florida's burgeoning human population and vulnerability to both climatological and
anthropogenic changes in the water cycle make the State a unique living laboratory to develop
new knowledge and test solutions to global water problems. In recognition of the importance of
water issues, and the need to address them in a new interdisciplinary manner, the University of
Florida (UF) established a campus-wide interdisciplinary Water Institute in May 2006.
The UF Water Institute brings together talent from throughout the University to address complex
water issues through innovative interdisciplinary research, education, and public outreach
Interdisciplinary UF Water Institute Teams, comprised of leading water researchers, educators
and students, develop new scientific breakthroughs; creative engineering; policy and legal
solutions; and pioneering educational programs that are renowned for addressing state, national,
and global water problems.
Partnerships: The Water Institute recognizes the importance of developing strong inclusive
partnerships among Water Institute Affiliate Faculty, and with external stakeholders, to identify
and prioritize critical water issues requiring interdisciplinary expertise.
Expertise: The Water Institute is committed to developing the basic knowledge, practical
experience, and infrastructure required to respond to stakeholders' emerging water issues.
Excellence: The Water Institute is committed to provide excellent interdisciplinary water-related
research, education and outreach programs that are recognized within the state of Florida, the
nation and the world.
Respect: The Water Institute provides services that acknowledge and respect the expertise of all
Water Institute Affiliate Faculty; it also recognizes the personal values, cultures, and
socioeconomic context of its diverse external stakeholders.
The overarching goals of Water Institute research, education/outreach programs are to:
Improve basic knowledge of the physical, chemical, and biological processes in aquatic
systems (rivers, lakes, oceans, estuaries, wetlands, soil and ground waters).
Enhance understanding of the interactions and interrelationships between human attitudes
and activities, and aquatic systems.
Develop and promote the adoption of improved methodologies for water management
and policy (including quantity, quality and ecosystem services) based on a foundation of
science, engineering, management and law.
2. INTERDISCIPLINARY EDUCATION/OUTREACH PROGRAMS
The following interdisciplinary education/outreach programs have been developed by the UF
Water Institute. These programs provide interdisciplinary venues to develop and share new
knowledge, and to develop and encourage the implementation of new technology and policy
solutions for water issues. These programs also develop partnerships with external stakeholders
that help to identify and prioritize critical water issues requiring interdisciplinary expertise; as
well as to provide expertise and support for addressing these issues.
2.1 Biennial UF Water Institute Symposium: sponsored by Progress Energy.
The inaugural Water Institute Symposium held in Gainesville Feb 27-28, 2008 brought together
450 scientists, engineers, academics, policy makers, water managers, industry representatives,
lawyers, students and members of the public to consider the relationships among challenges to
water resources sustainability, explore solutions for pressing issues and provide broad based
recommendations for research, education, technology and policies to ensure water resources
sustainability for Florida and beyond.
Over 180 contributed oral and poster presentations were presented by faculty graduate students,
consultants and state and federal agency scientists in Florida. A group of nationally and
internationally recognized invited speakers from academia, federal agencies, and policy "think-
tanks" participated in the opening plenary session of the symposium. The symposium concluded
with a panel, comprised of the Executive Directors of each of the Water Management Districts
and the Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection that focused on current
Florida policies and programs and future research and education needs. A graduate student
poster competition was held and 4 awards totaling $3000 were made to support graduate student
travel to a national/international meeting to present their work. For Symposium agenda see
An on-line evaluation of the Symposium showed that:
* 99% of participants agreed (34%) or strongly agreed (64%) that the theme of the Symposium
and the content of the sessions were timely, appropriate and informative.
* 88% of participants rated the symposium as very good (64%) or among the best (24%) they
* 98% of participants plan to attend a UF Water Institute Symposium again
* 55% of participants would like to see the UF Water Institute host a Symposium similar to this
one once per year
* 43% of participants would like to see the UF Water Institute host a Symposium similar to this
one once every two years.
The decision has been made to host a large, widely encompassing Water Institute Symposium
every two years, with smaller more focused meetings hosted in between.
2.2 UF Water Institute Distinguished Scholar Seminar Series: Sponsored by the
This annual seminar series, initiated in Fall 2007, invites high profile scholars to UF on a
monthly basis to: conduct a general Water Institute seminar that will be of interest to a broad
audience; meet with the Water Institute Faculty Advisory Committee to discuss strategic
planning and partnering opportunities; and meet with interested Water Institute faculty to discuss
specific research/education issues. Each scholar is also asked to serve on the External Council of
Advisors for the Water Institute for a 12 month period following his/her visit. For a list of the
2007-08 Seminar Series Scholars, seven of whom hold Eminent Scholar Chairs at their
institutions and five of whom are National Academy members, see
2.3 Interdisciplinary Workshops and Expert Panels
Periodic interdisciplinary workshops and expert panels are hosted to develop partnerships
between and among UF Water Institute Faculty, external academics and external stakeholders to
identify and prioritize critical water issues requiring interdisciplinary expertise; as well as to
provide expertise and support for addressing these issues.
July 16-20 2007: The Water Institute hosted a week-long Agricultural Knowledge Initiative
Research Planning Workshop to kick off the USDA/ICAR Sustainable Water Resource
Management: U.S. Collaborative Research and Education Project. The workshop included
facilitated discussions and field trips and provided an opportunity for the detailed planning of the
funded research projects which will be conducted in India. Six participants from three Indian
Partner institutions, one participant from North Carolina A&T, and eleven participants from UF
attended the workshop. Sponsored by USDA.
August 21, 2007: The Water Institute hosted a one-day Springs Nutrient Workshop with about
70 faculty members, state and local scientists, organizers, managers, regulators and policy
experts. The workshop included synthesis presentations on the state of knowledge regarding
sources, transformations, sinks and ecological impacts of nutrients in springs, as well as
facilitated break out sessions to discuss information gaps and research needed to address these
gaps. Sponsored by FDEP.
September 12 2007: The Water Institute hosted a one day Hydrologic Information Systems
Workshop to assist the government of Australia in exploring how hydrologic databases and
integrated modeling tools can be used to manage water movement and accounting on a large
regional scale. Representatives from the three largest Florida Water Management Districts,
USGS, the Australian Meterologic Bureau, the Australia Commonwealth Scientific and
Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Land and Water Division, University of Florida, and
University of Texas Austin participated in the meeting. Sponsored by the UF Water Institute.
November 15-16 2007: The Water Institute hosted a free half-day instructional seminar on the
use of ArcHydro for water resource management applications. This seminar is open to UF
faculty, students, consulting firms, and Water Management District employees. A one-day
symposium to present the state of practice for the use of ArcHydro in Florida followed. The
purpose of these meetings was to share information about hydrologic data management and tool
development for water research, education, decision-making, visualization and modeling efforts
in Florida. Sponsored by the UF Water Institute.
November 29, 2007: The Water Institute hosted a one-day Open Modeling Interface (OpenMI)
working group meeting between UF Faculty and OPEN-MI Developer and Principal Investigator
Dr. Roger Moore from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, UK. The purpose of
these meetings was to inform UF Faculty of the OpenMI standard for linking hydrologic and
ecologic models, and encourage participation in this international effort. The Open-MI standard
is a software component interface definition for the computational core (the engine) of the
computational models in the water domain. Sponsored by the UF Water Institute.
November 30, 2007: The Water Institute hosted a one-day Water Conservation Research
Planning Workshop to review the status of Florida water conservation research programs
and develop a prioritized Water Conservation Research Agenda to support public water
supply utilities and water managers in developing effective and efficient water
conservation programs. The workshop was developed in collaboration with the Conserve
Florida Group (a consortium of representatives from FDEP, all 5 Water Management
Districts, Florida Water Utilities, and UF) and other interested UF Faculty. Sponsored by
Conserve Florida Water.
September 4, 2008: Coordinate panel discussion on Water and Social Equity at the Ham
Museum in conjunction with Harn "Water as Metaphor for Identity" exhibition and the UF
Common Reading Program "When Rivers Run Dry" Sponsored by the Water Institute
September 17-18, 2008: Coordinate and host 2 day workshop of national experts on the
Environmental Effects of Withdrawals from the St. Johns River.
June -September 2008: Coordinate state-wide peer review of American Water Works
Associate Florida 2030 Water Supply Infrastructure Vision Documents. Sponsored by the
Century Commission in preparation for the Governor's Water Summit
June -December 2009: Coordinate national peer review of the Watershed Assessment
Model. Sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and
the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation.
2.4 Administration of the Hydrologic Sciences Academic Cluster
The UF academic cluster for graduate studies in Hydrologic Sciences (HSAC) was established in
1993 as a unique interdisciplinary program designed to broaden the skills of science and
engineering students who are interested in all aspects of water; i.e., occurrence and quantity,
distribution, circulation, quality, and management/policy. Currently 45 faculty members and 30
graduate students from 10 departments and 3 colleges participate in the HSAC. Since 1993 120
M.S. and Ph. D. students have graduated from the program.
As recommended by the UF Faculty Water Institute Launch Team, the Water Institute provides
administrative services to the HSAC including maintaining the HSAC website and housing the
HSAC student, faculty and meeting records. In addition The UF Water Institute Director serves
as a permanent voting member on the Hydrologic Sciences Academic Cluster Faculty
3.0 RESEARCH PROGRAMS DEVELOPED
The following interdisciplinary research programs have been developed by the UF Water
Institute faculty and staff. These programs bring together interdisciplinary teams of faculty and
students to provide the knowledge base for, and to develop new technology and policy solutions
for state, national and global water issues.
3.1 Externally Funded Water Institute Projects
3.1.1 Water Institute Directed Projects ($3.4 Million)
Cooperative Graduate Research Assistantships in Critical Water Resources Areas for South
Florida, South Florida Water Management District/Florida Water Resources Research
Center, $21 OK, Mar 2006- Mar 2009.
Demonstration of Water Quality Best Management Practices for Beef Cattle Ranching in
the Lake Okeechobee Basin Florida Department of Environmental Protection, $1.568
Million, Sep 2002-Oct 2008.
India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative, U.S. Department of Agriculture, $150K, Aug
2006- Jul 2009.
Peer Review of the Watershed Assessment Model, Florida Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services, $100K, July 2008-December 2008.
Suwannee River Hydrologic Observatory, National Science Foundation and the Swisher
Foundation, $500K, Dec 2006- Nov 2008.
Use of Seasonal Climate Forecasts to Reduce Risk in Regional Public Water Supply
Management in the Tampa Metropolitan Region, Tampa Bay Water and the Swisher
Foundation, $250K, Apr 2007 Mar 2009.
Use of Intra-seasonal and Seasonal Forecasts to Reduce Risk in Regional Public Water
Supply Management, NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program (SARP), $300K,
October 2008-October 2010
Water Institute Distinguished Scholar Seminar Series, Smallwood Foundation, $51K, April
Water Institute Water Systems Collaboratory, Florida Legislative Budget Request, $500K,
July 2007-June 2008.
3.1.2 Water Institute Assisted Projects ($1.25 Million)
Conserve Florida Clearinghouse. J. Heaney P.I. (Environmental Engineering Sciences),
Florida Department of Environmental Protection, $620K, Apr 2006- Apr 2008.
Development of a Dynamic Decision Support System (D2S2) for Water Supply Planning.
J. Jawitz P.I. (Soil and Water Science), American Water Works Association Research
Foundation/Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department, $100K, Jan 2007 to Jan 2010.
Reducing nonpoint source loss of nitrate with in the Santa Fe Basin. M. Clark P.I. (Soil
and Water Science). Florida Department of Environmental Protection, $304K, Apr 2007-
Summary and Synthesis of the Available Literature on the Effects of Nutrients on Spring
Organisms and Systems. M. Brown P.I. (Environmental Engineering), Florida
Department of Environmental Protection, $227K, Apr 2007 Apr 2008.
3.1.3 Water Institute Faculty Projects
Faculty affiliated with the Water Institute currently manage over $90,000,000 in active externally
funded projects. These projects are compiled in a web-accessible database that can be searched
by investigator, department, keyword, title, date and/or funding agency (see
http ://ees-his06. ad.ufl. edu/SearchFundedProj ects/)
3.2 2007 Water Institute Program Initiation Fund Awards (Total Awards = $195K)
The following awards were made under the first Program Initiation Fund (PIF) Competition in
Protecting Florida's Water Quality: Identifying and Overcoming Barriers to
Implementation of Low Impact Development (LID) Practices. Mark W. Clark PI
(Soil and Water Science), Tom R. Ankerson (Conservation Clinic, Levin College
of Law), Pierce H. Jones (Agricultural and Biological Engineering), Barbra C.
Larson (Environmental Horticulture).
A Framework for Assessing The Hydrologic Footprint of Large-scale Biofuel
Production Matt Cohen PI (School of Forest Resources and Conservation),
Mark T. Brown (Center for Wetlands, Environmental Engineering Sciences),
Angela Lindner (Environmental Engineering Sciences).
Environmental Consequences of Nutrients and Organic Matter Injection into
Carbonate Aquifers; Implications for Water Quality in Aquifer Storage and
Recovery (ASR) Technology. Andrew R. Zimmerman PI (Geological Sciences),
Jean-Claude Bonzongo (Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences),
Willie Harris (Soil and Water Science).
Sediment Transport through Tidal Inlets During Extreme Forcing: Erosion or
Accretion? Arnoldo Valle-Levinson PI (Civil and Coastal Engineering), John M.
Yeager (Geological Sciences), Tian-Jian Hsu (Civil and Coastal Engineering),
Alexandru Sheremet (Civil and Coastal Engineering).
Coupling of Advanced Oxidation and Adsorption Processes onto Silica-Titania
Composites for Low Level Capture of Metals from Water Effluents. David W.
Mazyck PI (Environmental Engineering Sciences), Jean-Claude Bonzongo
(Environmental Engineering Sciences), Lena Q. Ma (Soil and Water Science).
Water, Gender and Equity in India. Whitney Sanford PI (Religion), Anita
Anantharam (Women's Studies), Vasudha Narayanan (Center for the Study of
Hindu Traditions, Religion).
Reports on the PIF projects are due June 30, 2008. Deliverables from projects include
peer reviewed journal articles and proposals (submitted through the Water Institute) for
externally funded research projects. During academic year 2008-09 the Water Institute
will host a series of brown-bag faculty-student seminar/discussion groups lead by the
2007-08 PIF project teams.
3.3 2008 Water Institute Program Initiation Fund Awards
The 2008 Program Initiation Fund was revamped to experiment with alternative, more "hands-
on" strategies of stimulating productive, externally funded, interdisciplinary research programs.
The new program will support interdisciplinary working groups consisting of UF faculty,
graduate students, and key external experts to address complex issues of water resource
sustainability that have state, national and global importance. Working group topics selected for
Integrated analyses of climate, land use, hydrologic, biogeochemical, ecologic, and
socioeconomic systems to inform water management decisions
The nexus between sustainable energy and sustainable water supplies
Water-borne contaminants, pathogens and health
Each working groups will produce:
A research and education agenda that summarizes the state of the art in the area, and
defines important gaps in knowledge that should be pursued by the working group.
A strategic plan to fund and execute the research and education agenda.
At least one Water Institute position paper to the Florida Legislature and/or other Florida
stakeholders that summarizes the need for the working group effort and its potential to
produce important knowledge of significance to the management of Florida's water
At least one peer-reviewed journal article that analyzes and synthesizes existing data and
information, results of new modeling studies, new surveys, etc. in support of the working
At least two interdisciplinary proposals to fund and execute specific aspects of the
research and education agenda.
4. OTHER LEADERSHIP/OUTREACH ACTIVITIES
Invited Presentation to the National Research Council Water Science and Technology
Board on the Water Implications of Biofuels, July 12, 2007.
Invited Speaker at the National meeting of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, July
Invited seminar at the SouthWest Florida Water Management District, July 25, 2007.
Invited speaker at the Jacksonville Rotary Club, September 10, 2007.
Invited speaker for the University of Florida "Florida Tomorrow" Campaign Kick-Off,
September 28, 2007.
Invited Panelist on Water Management Implications of Climate Change for Florida
Legislature Energy and Environment & Natural Resource Committees, November 6th,
Invited seminar Oak Hammock Institute for Learning in Retirement, April 1, 2008
* Member of Board of Directors, Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of
Hydrologic Sciences, 2003-2008; Chair 2005-2006, Past-Chair 2007.
* Member of Advisory Committee, Collaborative Large-Scale Engineering Analysis
Network for Environmental Research, 2005-2007.
* Member of WATer and Environmental Research Systems Network (WATERS Network)
Design Team, 2006-2008.
* College of Engineering Dean Search Committee, 2008.