Water Research Questions

Is EPA doing research on hydraulic fracturing?

Yes, EPA conducts research to better understand the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources.

For current information on EPA’s hydraulic fracturing research, please visit: EPA's Study of Hydraulic Fracturing.

Will climate change impact water quality or availability?

EPA is conducting research to determine the impacts of climate change on water quality and availability across the Nation as well as to develop predictive models for these impacts.

Research includes all forms of water resources from tiny streams to lakes, rivers, estuaries, and oceans. One focus of this research is to identify which specific resources and geographical areas are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

For example, a recent EPA report, Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change:  Challenges of Conducting Multi-stressor Global Change Vulnerability Assessments maps key indicators of watershed vulnerabilities nationwide. Released in August 2011, the report investigates the best practices and challenges associated with identifying indicators of relative watershed vulnerability to external stresses such as climate and land-use change across the United States.

To learn more about EPA’s water and climate research visit: Water and Climate Research

For more information on other climate-related research go to: EPA’s Climate Change Research

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What is the difference between grey and green infrastructure?

Grey infrastructure refers to traditional practices for storing, transporting and treating stormwater and wastewater. Examples of grey infrastructure include storm drains, combined sewer systems and water treatment facilities.

Green infrastructure refers to sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices to manage stormwater. Examples of green infrastructure include large-scale options such as grass and forest buffers or the restoration of wetlands, as well as small-scale technologies such as rain barrels or rain gardens. Green infrastructure often offers co-benefits along with its ability to manage stormwater. For instance, restored wetlands contribute to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased hunting and fishing services.

For more information on EPA’s green infrastructure research, visit: Green Infrastructure Research

For additional information on grey and green stormwater management practices, visit the following links:
Grey Infrastructure Overview and Research 
Green Infrastructure Overview

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