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Social Cost of Water Pollution

Many important economic and social costs are associated with the acquisition, distribution, and use of water, but a complex mix of policies and practices need to be addressed to ensure access to clean water everywhere—for everyone. The Social Cost of Water Pollution Working Group is focused on creating an effective tool for decision-making by the federal government, states, NGOs, and private industry on water quality, analogous to the social cost of carbon estimates that are visible metrics of the costs of global warming. This tool can be used to align policies on land-use decisions with goals for water quality and protecting ecosystem services.

Cornell Atkinson - Water Pollution
water quality
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Social Cost of Water Pollution Conference June 2021

About the Conference

This workshop is intended to coordinate and encourage research and policy discussion of Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) for water quality, and to push forward our understanding of the benefits and costs of water quality improvements. This workshop is part of an ongoing effort to establish a strong interdisciplinary research and policy community to improve our understanding of how changes in water quality affect society with the ultimate goal of providing regional and temporal estimates of the social cost of water pollution.

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Projects

News

Scientists to Play Bigger Role in Water Policy

The EPA recently announced it would begin repealing former President Trump’s changes to Clean Water Act rules, policies that left important waterbodies vulnerable to development and pollution. For Fellows Cathy Kling (Dyson) and Amanda Rodewald (CALS), the announcement isn’t just something to celebrate, it’s a call to action.

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Salt marsh at full tide

Faculty Highlight

Cathy Kling

As the first sustainability faculty hire through the Radical Collaborations Sustainability initiative, Cathy Kling develops large-scale, long-term solutions to address the social costs of water pollution.

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Cathy Kling

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