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Debra Perrone

Email: Debra Perrone
Grad Office: Featheringill 271
Grad Office Phone: 322-7225 
Mailing Address:
VIEE, Vanderbilt University
PMB 407702
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240
Fax: 615-322-7012

China YES Conference,  China ('09) 

bangladesh Water and Social Justice Capstone, Bangladesh ('10)


Ingram  Navigating an Ingram barge, Kentucky ('10)

STAR EPA STAR Conference, Washington, D.C. ('11)


agu AGU Conference, Hosted Policy Session, San Francisco ('11)



WE IWA World Congress on Water, Ireland ('12)


YSSP IIASA YSSP, Austria ('12)


PhD Candidate, Environmental Engineering
Lecturer, ENVE 254: Water and Energy 
Fellow, EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR)
Fellow, Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment
Fellow, IIASA Young Summer Scientists Program (YSSP)
Fellow, NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute (EAPSI)


  • MS, Environmental Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • BS, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lafayette College, Easton, PA

Dissertation Research

My dissertation explores water’s role in the interactions among water, food, and energy: How can society promote communities to think about their resource use and integrate the water, food, and energy nexus into policy decisions? What information can we obtain from looking at historical water use estimates and water use projections? And, what are the trade-offs associated with allocating water for energy versus water for agriculture? I explore US water use data to detect trends among various stakeholders and identify limitations in the data. I integrate this information into a tool that quantifies resource flows and a framework that provides insight on the influence of geography on resources. To expand this work outside the US, I use Sri Lanka as a manageable, discrete case study and explore how stakeholders make choices in allocating water resources and the associated costs incurred from their decisions. 

Manuscripts Published or Accepted

Perrone, D., and G. Hornberger (2013). “Water, Food, and Energy Security: Scrambling for Resources or Solutions?” WIREs Water. doi: 10.1002/wat2.1004.

Jacobi, J., D. Perrone, L. Duncan, and G. Hornberger (2013). "A Tool for Calculating the Palmer Drought Indices.” Water Resources Research.

Perrone, D., J. Murphy, and G. Hornberger (2011). "Urban Resource Islands: A New Perspective on the Water-Energy Nexus." Environmental Science and Technology.

Ewing, A., L. Thabrew, D. Perrone, G. Hornberger, and M. Abkowitz (2011). "Insights on the Use of Hybrid Life Cycle Assessment for Environmental Footprinting: A Case Study of an Inland Marine Freight Transportation Company." Journal of Industrial Ecology. 

Manuscripts in Review or in Revision 

Duncan, L., D. Perrone, J. Jacobi, and G. Hornberger. "Effects of Regionalizing the Palmer Drought Indices in the Columbia River Basin.” (expected resubmission Spring 2013 to WRR.)

Jacobi, J., D. Perrone, and G. Hornberger. "Climate and Adaptation Policies in Sri Lanka.” (expected resubmission Spring 2013 to GRL.)

Ewing, A., L. Thabrew, D. Perrone, G. Hornberger, and M. Abkowitz. "Stepping up to the Plate— Analyzing the Sustainability Benefits of Altering Food Purchases in Organizations." (submitted Fall 2013 to Resources, Conservation, and Recycling.)

Perrone, D., G. Hornberger, M. van der Velde, and O. van Vliet. “US Water Resource Use: Past, Present, and Future.” (submitted Fall 2013 to Water Resources Research.)

Thabrew, L., D. Perrone, A. Ewing, G. Hornberger, and M. Abkowitz. "Prioritizing Environmental Footprint Reduction Alternatives: An Application of a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis in a Corporate Setting." (submitted Summer 2013 to Ecological Indicators.)


Perrone, D., J. Jacobi, and G. Hornberger (December 2013). “Adaptation Planning in Sri Lanka under Shifting Rainfall Patterns.” American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California.

Perrone, D., L. Duncan, J. Jacobi, and G. Hornberger (2012) “Exploring the Components of the Palmer Drought Indices Using the Apalachicola–Chattahoochee–Flint (ACF) River Basin as a Case Study.” AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California.

Perrone, D. and G. Hornberger (2012). “Trends in Irrigated Agriculture in the Southwest and Southeast United States.” International Water Association (IWA) World Congress on Water, Climate and Energy, Dublin, Ireland.

Perrone, D. and G. Hornberger (2011) “Exploring Spatiotemporal water and energy use trends within the US.” AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California.

Perrone, D., J. Murphy, and G. Hornberger (2010) “Urban Resource Islands: a new perspective on the water-energy nexus.” AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California.

Perrone, D. and J. Murphy (2010) “Water-Energy Nexus: Moving the People or the Resources.” Young Earth Scientists Congress, Beijing, China.

Perrone, D. and K. Udugama (2008) “CODE-PSI: A Framework for Facilitating Sustainable Infrastructure Projects in Rural Communities.” Engineers Without Borders’ International Conference, Seattle, Washington.


Hobbies and Interests

Hiking, running, biking, traveling