Engineering Washington: Sustainable Water in a Wet Region

Engineering Washington: Sustainable Water in a Wet Region

The Mountain to Sea Initiative at UW is supporting an Education working group. We hope this summer course is the first of many innovative courses bringing a watershed perspective to our classrooms and our students to the watersheds.  Please forward this course description to your colleagues, students, and email listservs.Please forward this course description to your colleagues, students, and email listservs.  For more information, contact Dr. Heidi Gough hgough@uw.edu (lead instructor), or visit the course website 

ENGINEERING WASHINGTON: Sustainable Water in a Wet Region

Applications Due Feb 15. (all majors, graduate and undergraduate students welcome)
Apply Here

This year, the University of Washington Freshwater Initiative is offering a unique “study abroad” to the Olympic Peninsula. The value of water is recognized worldwide Even in wet regions, such as the Pacific Northwest, it is important to apply sustainable strategies that recognize the interconnections among water resource, drinking water, and wastewater. It is additionally important to recognize that culture plays a large role in ensuring that decisions match the needs of local communities.

Key Questions


  • How is water all connected as “One Water”?
  • How can different water management sectors work together toward common goals?
  • How would a “One Water” approach impact choices made for wastewater treatment, stormwater management, or drinking water resource management?
  • What would happen if recovered wastewater was used to recharge groundwater?
  • What does an old reservoir bed look like after a dam is removed?
  • How does management of working forests influence water?
  • What does “water” mean to PNW tribes?
  • How do water decisions differ among different communities (small vs. large), native tribes, regional planners, local planners?

 

Course Summary


This class is NOT taught on campus! Studying away from campus for 1 month in a small group setting, this course will examine the intersection of the water engineering sectors and local decision-making, with a focus on environmental implications of the climate change predictions for temperate rain forest and wet forest regions. The Pacific Northwest will be used as a learning “laboratory”. Students will engage with water professionals and decision makers from public utilities, regional engineering firms, tribal nations, and local/regional government, while simultaneously learning about the technical solutions to water challenges. The intersections among these groups and their view of the water sector will be examined at differing scales (state, city and small town) and from multiple cultural perspectives.

 

Planned Activities


  • Visiting water/wastewater treatment plant, – engaging with tribal leaders,
  • Eating foods with cultural and regional water importance, – visiting tidal flats,
  • Rain forest hiking,
  • Visiting the Elwha Dam removal site,
  • Rafting, and
  • Whale watching.

 

For more Information


For more information, contact Dr. Heidi Gough hgough@uw.edu (lead instructor), or visit the course web page