Using theoretical, numerical, and experimental approaches, the Environmental Remediation and Water Resources Program (ERWR) is unique in that it spans molecular-to-field scales in the development of system behavior insights, as well as novel tools and approaches. Projects within the Program contribute to the predictive understanding of coupled hydro-biogeochemical processes and their role in water resources, environmental contaminants, and related terrestrial environment biogeochemical cycling—from the scale of the pore to that of the regional catchment. This research relies heavily on linking controlled laboratory experiments with field observations at sites of relevance to DOE, particularly those expected to be at elevated risk due to the impacts of global climate change or persistent contamination.
The EESA Sustainable Systems Science Focus Area 2.0 is emblematic of this research focus. It seeks to develop the process understanding and genome-enabled capabilities required to simulate microbe-catalyzed biogeochemical processes, particularly those relevant for terrestrial environmental feedbacks to climate, contaminant mobility, and agricultural sustainability. Tied with this project, Berkeley Lab leads perhaps the most used subsurface community biogeochemical field observatory in the world: the Rifle, Colorado, site.
The collection of projects in this program is overwhelmingly multidisciplinary and multi-institutional, involving close collaboration with other national laboratories, universities, and industry partners. Financial support is provided by a variety of sponsors, including DOE-BER and DOE Environmental Management and Legacy Management, DOD SERDP, the Bureau of Land Management, various California Water Agencies, and DOE’s Small Business Innovative Research program.