Atlanta — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $1 million award to Clemson University for research addressing extreme weather events and climate change which impact the frequency and severity of droughts, subsequent wildfires and flooding, and runoff that ultimately impacts the quality and availability of surface water and groundwater. Clemson is one of four grantees focused on this research and is joined by the Public Policy Institute of California, University of Utah, and the Water Research Foundation, each receiving $1 million.

“As a nation we are witnessing the harmful effects of droughts and extreme events, such as wildfires and flooding, that often follow drought conditions," said Thomas A. Burke, EPA Science Advisor and Deputy Assistant Administrator of EPA's Office of Research and Development. "This research will provide innovative strategies to help local communities, states, tribes, and the federal government better understand the impacts of these problems, and better protect our nation's water and the health of our friends and families who rely on those water resources."

The researchers at Clemson will investigate the effects of different forest fire reduction management techniques in experimental forested watersheds, such as prescribed burns and mechanical thinning, particularly associated with rainstorm events following droughts, and their effect on treated drinking water supplies.

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