Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Funded Projects

CREST Center for Sustainable Water Use (CREST-SWU)

Global demand for freshwater will increase for decades due to population growth, urbanization, economic development, energy production, and climate change. South Texas is a representative microcosm for these competing pressures, with limited water resources, irrigation-dependent agriculture, water-intensive energy production, sensitive coastal marine habitat, rapid population growth and urbanization, binational competition for water allocations, and frequent drought. The capacity of regional policymakers to address these problems is limited by a fragmented institutional framework that inhibits holistic planning for sustainable water resource utilization, particularly in relation to regional agricultural, municipal, and energy sectors. Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK), the premium Hispanic-serving institution in South Texas, located at the center of the three regional Water Planning Areas (WPAs), is ideally suited to address these issues by establishing a CREST Center for Sustainable Water Use (CREST-SWU). Our vision for CREST-SWU is to achieve regional multidisciplinary research, education and stakeholder collaboration to advance the understanding of sustainable water use in South Texas in the context of complex physical, hydroclimatic, regulatory and social-economical settings. We envision stimulating the development and assessment of water availability and quality monitoring networks, models, and management tools that will ultimately promote sustainable water use in South Texas and similar semi-arid regions. Our goal for CREST-SWU is to integrate academic researchers, regional stakeholders, and regulatory policy experts to holistically develop and assess alternative management strategies for attaining sustainable water use in South Texas, particularly from the perspective of the water, energy and food security nexus. The Center will develop a five-year program of research, education and outreach related to the following three overarching RESEARCH SUBPROJECTS: 1) Monitoring and Information Systems (MIS), 2) Modeling and Dynamic Forecasting (MDF), and 3) Decision Support Systems (DSS).

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation

Project Period: September 2019 - August 2024

Funded Amount: $5,000,000

Principal Investigator: Dr. Mahesh Hosur

Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Selahattin Ozcelik

Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Tushar Sinha

Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Shad D. Nelson

Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Benjamin Turner