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October 17, 2016

ReNUWIt: Changing the way we manage urban water

NSF Engineering Research Center combines innovation with smart natural systems for more efficient, affordable and sustainable water

The Mines Park apartment complex may look like typical student housing but these apartments are pioneering new water treatment methods for a cleaner future. Wastewater from this complex isnít actually wasted.

This is one of the pilot projects of the National Science Foundationís (NSF) Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Re-Inventing the Nation's Urban Water Infrastructure, or ReNUWIt. Researchers and students here combine engineering innovations with expanded use of smart natural systems to help address growing water needs in cities and towns.

ReNUWIt is a collaborative group of urban water researchers from the Colorado School of Mines, New Mexico State University, Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley. Infrastructure upgrades are part of the researchersí focus because decentralized water treatment at the neighborhood scale can be more efficient than transporting water miles away to one large facility.

Through the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, students from across the country are able to participate and contribute to the research.

For more than 30 years, the NSF ERC program has enabled university-based teams -- in partnership with industry and regional stakeholders -- to discover and launch the ubiquitous technologies of the future.

The research in this episode was supported by NSF award #1262655, REU Site: Re-inventing the Nation's Urban Water Infrastructure.

Miles O'Brien, Science Nation Correspondent
Marsha Walton, Science Nation Producer

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.