One of the most urgent challenges facing the world today is ensuring an adequate supply and quality of water in light of both burgeoning human needs and climate variability and change. Despite its importance to life on Earth, there are major gaps in our basic understanding of water availability, quality and dynamics, and the impact of both a changing and variable climate, and human activity, on the water system.

The goal of the WSC solicitation is to understand and predict the interactions between the water system and climate change, land use, the built environment, and ecosystem function and services through place-based research and integrative models. Studies of the water system using observations at specific sites in combination with models that allow for spatial and temporal extrapolation to other regions, as well as integration across the different processes in that system are encouraged, especially to the extent that they advance the development of theoretical frameworks and predictive understanding.

Specific topics of interest include:

- Determining the inputs, outputs, and potential changes in water budgets in response to both climate variability and change, and human activity, and the effect of these changes on biogeochemical cycles, water quality, long-term chemical transport and transformation, terrestrial, aquatic and coastal ecosystems, landscape evolution and human settlements and behavior.
- Developing theoretical frameworks and models that incorporate the linkages and feedbacks among atmospheric, terrestrial, aquatic, oceanic, and social processes that can be used to predict the potential impact of climate variability and change, land use and human activity on water systems on decadal to centennial scales in order to provide a basis for adaptive management of water resources.
- Determining how our built water systems and our governance systems can be made more reliable, resilient and sustainable to meet diverse and often conflicting needs, such as minimizing consumption of water for energy generation, industrial and agricultural production and built environment requirements, reuse for both potable and non-potable needs, ecosystem protection, and flood control and storm water management.

Proposals may establish new observational sites or utilize existing sites and facilities already supported by NSF or other federal and state agencies. Proposals that do not broadly integrate across the biological sciences, engineering, geosciences, and social sciences may be returned without review. Successful proposals are expected to study water systems in their entirety and to enable a new interdisciplinary paradigm in water research.

Further information, including eligibility requirements, funding amounts, application guidelines, and program contacts is available in the full proposal.
This can be downloaded by entering 'nsf10524' in the search box at:

Deadline, Letter of Intent: Monday, 15 March 2010 at 5 p.m.
Deadline, Full Application: Thursday, 15 April 2010 at 5 p.m