delware environmental institute

Grad student studies drought impact on California water utilities

Grad student studies drought impact on California water utilities

Public water utility managers around the country are taking note of the impacts climate change will bring to bear on local water resources and are looking for ways to prepare for eventualities ranging from floods to droughts to increased salinity. Linda Grand, a graduate student at the University of Delaware, has been working to provide water utility and resource managers with more policy tools and options to help keep clean water flowing from our faucets despite climate change. This summer, she is pursuing her research through an internship at the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) in San Francisco.

As an undergrad at UD, Grand studied environmental economics and developed an interest in the behavioral economics research of Kent Messer, the Unidel Howard Cosgrove Chair for the Environment in the Department of Applied Economics and Statistics.

Her interest in the field solidified through undergraduate research internships funded through the Delaware Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), including a summer internship at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) in 2014 where she focused on standardizing regulations in Delaware wildlife areas.

After graduation, Grand decided to remain in Newark to pursue her master’s degree. Her summer work in California will help with her research on the effects severe drought has on drinking water utilities.

“Here at PPIC, I’m surveying drinking water utilities throughout the state about how the drought has impacted them,” Grand said, referring to the historic drought that has gripped the state of California for the past five years.