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About the Water Degree

Few undergraduate degree programs provide integrated training in water science, policy, and management; yet, professionals are required to have interdisciplinary expertise in these areas to solve critical problems facing society today and in the future. Water: Resources, Policy, and Management, administered by the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, is an interdisciplinary program and the first its kind in Virginia and is unique to any other undergraduate program anywhere in the U.S. The new degree program offers a strong interdisciplinary approach to water science, policy and management, while complementing existing undergraduate degree programs at Virginia Tech.

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Background

This broad interdisciplinary expertise in water at Virginia Tech is a reflection of the diverse array of challenges and solutions involving water resources across the Commonwealth and beyond. Water connects society and environment through energy, food, climate, ecological, health, and economic systems and is therefore of vital importance to sustaining human life. Water issues such as drought, flooding, sanitation, and contamination exist on every continent and touch every citizen on the planet. Sustainably managing water resources is a complex challenge that requires knowledge in a wide range of academic disciplines. These water challenges range from developing efficient water systems for individual households to understanding the effects of global climate change on water availability at regional scales.

The challenges in this growing industry involve existing disciplines at Virginia Tech, ranging from water engineering to human nutrition to aquatic ecology. Students with interdisciplinary training in water science, policy and management provided by this new degree at Virginia Tech will be equipped to meet the many, expanding water challenges facing society.