Clean water is vital for generating energy, growing food and sustaining life itself. As demands on limited water resources continue to increase, engineers are creating efficient new systems for water treatment, distribution, reuse and recovery. In the future, new water technologies and systems will make "wastewater" a dirty word. Find out more in this Special Report.
Credit: FloDesign Sonics Inc.
With water resources dwindling as the population continues to rise, many communities in the desert southwest are proactively seeking to make the tough choices now, so they can avoid more drastic measures in the future. The communities are seeking help from scientists and engineers, such as University of Arizona civil engineer Kevin Lansey. Find out more in this Science Nation video.
Credit: Science Nation, National Science Foundation
The Division of Engineering Education and Centers in NSF's Directorate for Engineering integrates disciplinary basic research and education conducted in other divisions of ENG and across NSF, into strategic frameworks critical to addressing societal grand challenges and to promoting innovation. Research in the EEC portfolio spans both the physical and life sciences and engineering, from materials to new device concepts, subsystems and systems.
Access to affordable clean water is vital for energy generation, food cultivation and basic life support. With drought pressure and population demands, water is an increasingly precious resource. The California drought and Flint water emergency show some of the consequences of clean water shortages. Low-cost, low-energy technologies for both water quality testing and water treatment must be developed to overcome economic barriers and secure America's future.
Scientist Claire Welty of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County is monitoring the travel times of pollutants in the urban streams in and around Baltimore. Through her research, she hopes to gain an understanding of the urban water cycle, and how municipalities can better prevent pollutants from contaminating the greater watershed.
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.
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.
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.