NSF Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA)

The Sustainable Water Infrastructure Management (SWIM) Center at Virginia Tech is co-hosting a virtual visioning event of the National Science Foundation-supported Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA) to envision the U.S. water system of tomorrow. To know more about NSF ERVA and the webinar, please click the link below.


Exploratory Domains

This event will envision the future of the U.S. water system and identify the nascent research opportunities where engineering can lead and accelerate the achievement of a secure, integrated water system. Transforming current silos into an integrated water system of systems paradigm will require a concerted effort from many different sectors, including government, industry, academia, and civil society. Engineers will be integral to the design and implementation of the technical solutions that will support the integration and interoperability of different water management systems.  

In addition to these technical challenges, there will also be a need for engineers to work closely with other stakeholders to understand their needs and priorities, and to help facilitate the integration of social, ecological, and technological systems.

During the first day of the event, we will generate a comprehensive understanding of the water challenges society faces. Considering the United Nations water security definition, “the capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development, for ensuring protection against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters, and for preserving ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability”,  what grand challenges in global water security may we expect and/or continue to face as we move towards the end of the 21st Century?

During the second day of the event, we will focus on transformative engineering solutions to address these challenges. What transformative advancements in engineering research are needed to tackle the end-of-the-century water security challenges?

Event Thematic Task Force

Stacy Lewis Hutchinson

Kansas State University

Meghna Babbar-Sebens

Oregon State University

Charles Bott

Hampton Roads Sanitary District

Scott Bryan

Imagine H2O

Junhong Chen

University of Chicago

Seth Darling

Argonne National Laboratory

Upmanu Lall

Columbia University

A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi

Michigan State University

Sunil Sinha

Virginia Tech

Ashlynn Stillwell

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dennis Truax

American Society of Civil Engineers

Paul Westerhoff

Arizona State University


ERVA Leadership

Thematic Task Force

Co-Hosting Team

Rebecca Silveston

Engineering Research Visioning Alliance 

Pramod Khargonekar

Engineering Research Visioning Alliance 

Stacy Lewis Hutchinson

Kansas State University

Sunil Sinha

Virginia Tech


Pierre Glynn

USGS Science and Decisions Center

Beverley Stinson


Marty Adams

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Dave Flinton


David Sedlak

Berkeley Water Center, UC Berkeley