The UWC reevaluates its research priorities regularly to help guide funding towards projects on topics of high interest and high concern to the member utilities and to the state of NC. Researchers interested in receiving funding from the UWC should submit a proposal to WRRI through its annual call for proposals. WRRI then shares relevant proposals with the UWC for their funding consideration.
Current UWC research priorities are:
- Understanding, quantifying, and managing risks and uncertainties in public water supplies, in the face of changing population, land use, climate, and regulations
- Setting rates and financing capital improvements for water and/or sewer utilities, in the face of changing population, land use, climate, and regulations
- Evaluation of alternative water sources (e.g., graywater or harvested rainwater) for differing consumptive uses (e.g., home irrigation), health risks of alternative sources, and potential impacts of alternative water use on overall water supply and demand
- Applying social science and economic valuation methodologies to help utilities better understand customers’ level-of-service expectations, their motivations, and willingness to pay for services, as well as understand customer perceptions, attitudes, opinions and beliefs related to water, wastewater and reclaimed water utility issues.
- Identifying, understanding, and applying innovative processes and technologies for water and wastewater treatment, plant operation, distribution systems, and potable and reclaimed water supply and waste discharge management.