National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"APPENDIX A: STATEMENT OF TASK." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century: Addressing Grand Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25121.
Page 101

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Prepublication Copy APPENDIX A STATEMENT OF TASK An ad hoc committee of the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will undertake a study to identify high-priority challenges and opportunities for the broad field of environmental engineering for the next several decades. Given the current and emerging environmental challenges of the 21st century, a study that describes how the field of environmental engineering and its aligned sciences might evolve to better address these needs could serve as a guide to the community and help frame research priorities. These should be significant societal challenges that will require the expertise of environmental engineering and its aligned sciences to resolve or manage. For each challenge, the committee will: •  Discuss the relevance of the challenge, its magnitude, and implications; •  Identify the key questions or issues related to the challenge that require the expertise of environmental engineering to address; •  Discuss the state of knowledge and practice in environmental engineering and aligned sciences relevant to these questions and issues; and •  Identify areas where knowledge and practice need to advance to address these challenges. To be announced  |  101

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Environmental engineers support the well-being of people and the planet in areas where the two intersect. Over the decades the field has improved countless lives through innovative systems for delivering water, treating waste, and preventing and remediating pollution in air, water, and soil. These achievements are a testament to the multidisciplinary, pragmatic, systems-oriented approach that characterizes environmental engineering.

Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century: Addressing Grand Challenges outlines the crucial role for environmental engineers in this period of dramatic growth and change. The report identifies five pressing challenges of the 21st century that environmental engineers are uniquely poised to help advance: sustainably supply food, water, and energy; curb climate change and adapt to its impacts; design a future without pollution and waste; create efficient, healthy, resilient cities; and foster informed decisions and actions.

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