text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation Home National Science Foundation - Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences (SBE)
Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS)
design element
BCS Home
About BCS
Funding Opportunities
Awards
News
Events
Discoveries
Publications
Career Opportunities
Human Subjects Guidance
Human Subjects FAQs
View BCS Staff
SBE Organizations
Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS)
National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES)
Social and Economic Sciences (SES)
SBE Office of Multidisciplinary Activities (SMA)
Proposals and Awards
Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide
  Introduction
Proposal Preparation and Submission
bullet Grant Proposal Guide
  bullet Grants.gov Application Guide
Award and Administration
bullet Award and Administration Guide
Award Conditions
Other Types of Proposals
Merit Review
NSF Outreach
Policy Office
Other Site Features
Special Reports
Research Overviews
Multimedia Gallery
Classroom Resources
NSF-Wide Investments

Email this pagePrint this page


New NSF Engineering Research Center Plans to Transform Urban Water Systems

Image of an infiltration testbed with instruments to assess groundwater recharge and recovery.

ERC researchers will study the geophysical and bio-geochemical processes affecting groundwater.
Credit and Larger Version

July 20, 2011

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announces an award to Stanford University and its partners to establish a new NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC).  The ERC will develop interdisciplinary research and education programs that address the intersection of people, water, and the environment, and that provide the foundation for new industries through innovation.  NSF will invest $18.5 million in the Center over the next five years.

The NSF ERC for Re-inventing America's Urban Water Infrastructure aims to create water systems that will require far fewer resources while continuing to meet the needs of urban users and improving the quality of aquatic ecosystems. With new knowledge and technological advances, the ERC will design new strategies for more sustainable solutions to urban water challenges.  

The Center will focus its research on distributed water treatment systems, integrated natural water systems, and tools that incorporate economic, environmental, and social factors into decisions about water.  The new possibilities for water/wastewater treatment and distribution will allow communities to increase the efficiency of water systems and usage, while protecting natural water resources.

The NSF ERC will be based at Stanford University, in partnership with the Colorado School of Mines, New Mexico State University, and the University of California, Berkeley.  Researchers at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, and the University of New South Wales in Australia will contribute additional expertise and international perspectives. 

The involvement of 22 industry partners — including multinational corporations, utilities, and start-up firms — will spur innovation and provide university students with first-hand experience in entrepreneurship.  The ERC will also collaborate with complementary research centers and organizations specializing in technology transfer to stimulate innovation based on its research.

Since 1985, the ERC program has fostered broad-based research and education collaborations to focus on creating technological breakthroughs for new products and services and on preparing U.S. engineering graduates to successfully participate in the global economy.  The centers launched this summer, as part of the third generation of NSF ERCs, place increased emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship, partnerships with small research firms, and international collaboration and cultural exchange.

"The Gen-3 ERCs are designed to speed the process of transitioning knowledge into innovation and to provide young engineers with experience in research and entrepreneurship, strengthening their role as innovation leaders in the global economy," said Lynn Preston, the leader of the ERC Program.  "Because they build on the rich understanding we gained from two previous generations of ERCs, we expect these new centers to make even more significant impacts on the competitiveness of U.S. industry."

-Cecile J. Gonzalez, NSF, cjgonzal@nsf.gov-

 

Media Contacts
Joshua A. Chamot, NSF, (703) 292-7730, jchamot@nsf.gov
Andrew Myers, Stanford University, (650) 736-2245, admyers@stanford.edu

Program Contacts
Lynn Preston, NSF, (703) 292-5358, lpreston@nsf.gov
Paul Bishop, NSF, (703) 292-2161, pbishop@nsf.gov

Principal Investigator
Richard Luthy, Stanford University, (650) 723-3921, luthy@stanford.edu

Related Websites
NSF ERC website:  http://www.erc-assoc.org
NSF ERC for Re-inventing America's Urban Water Infrastructure website:  http://www.UrbanWaterERC.org 
Stanford press release: http://news.stanford.edu/news/2011/july/urban-water-infrastructure-072011.html

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

 Get News Updates by Email 

Useful NSF Web Sites:
NSF Home Page: http://www.nsf.gov
NSF News: http://www.nsf.gov/news/
For the News Media: http://www.nsf.gov/news/newsroom.jsp
Science and Engineering Statistics: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/
Awards Searches: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/

 

Image of three interdisciplinary researchers discussing lab results.
Teams from the ERC campuses will assess the removal of trace contaminants in reclaimed water.
Credit and Larger Version

Image of a wetland testbed where ERC research will see how natural and engineered systems interact.
How natural and engineered systems may work together will be studied at a wetland testbed.
Credit and Larger Version

Image of a distributed water reclamation system in Golden, Colo.
Engineers will operate a distributed water reclamation system to produce tailored water quality.
Credit and Larger Version



Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page