The University joined the Aqueduct Alliance, an association of water experts from the public and private sectors, non-governmental organizations and academia, last week. The University will aid the alliance in assessing water risk by developing a new version of the UVA Bay Game focused on an Australian watershed.

The UVA Bay Game is a participatory simulation game about the environmental sustainability of the Chesapeake Bay which shows how the decisions of individual stakeholders can affect both the watershed and the economy.

The University was introduced to the initiative through its relationship with General Electric, also a member of the alliance, said Gerard Learmonth, an Engineering professor and the designer and modifier of the UVA Bay Game.

Both the Aqueduct Alliance and the UVA Bay Game were collecting data for the Murray-Darling basin in Australia, and the groups “found it useful to work together,” Learmonth said. The alliance asked the UVA Bay Game team to develop a bay game for the Murray-Darling basin in Australia.

Through its association with the project, the University “will be working together with institutions, private sector and public sector, who have enormous potential for creating new behaviors for sustainability,” said Jeffrey Plank, associate vice president for research at the University. “This kind of interest in water gives water great visibility globally and gives all of us who are interested in water as a kind of limiting natural resource of the 21st century credibility and visibility.”

Members of the alliance include Goldman Sachs, General Electric, Bloomberg, The Dow Chemical Company, Talisman Energy and United Technologies.

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