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Distinct from wireless ad hoc networks, wireless sensor networks are data-centric, application-oriented, collaborative, and energy-constrained in nature. In this paper, formulate the problem of data transport in sensor networks as an optimization problem whose objective function is to maximize the amount of information (utility) collected at sinks (subscribers), subject to the flow, energy and channel bandwidth constraints. Also, based on a Markov model extended from G. Bianchi (2000), we derive the link delay and the node capacity in both the single and multi-hop environments, and figure them in the problem formulation. We study three special cases under the problem formulation. In particular, we consider the energy-aware flow control problem, derive an energy aware flow control solution, and investigate via ns-2 simulation its performance. The simulation results show that the proposed energy-aware flow control solution can achieve high utility and low delay without congesting the network.