These new technologies include improved monitoring of large-scale water distribution systems to sensors at individual households capable of detecting dangerous chemical or biological contaminants.
The Water and Environmental Technology, or WET, Center includes the NSF Water Quality Center at the UA, and research units at Arizona State University and Temple University. Funding for the WET Center will begin Feb. 15. The UA's share of the grant is $380,000.
Ian Pepper, director of the UA Water Quality Center and a professor of soil, water and environmental sciences, said NSF funding has brought in an additional $10 million from both public and private sources over the last decade. This includes funding from the Technology and Research Infrastructure Fund, which are state sales tax revenues that target research in water and environmental sustainability, and a number of other areas.
The new WET Center allows the UA Water Quality Center to continue its "intermediate field-scale testing facility" that Pepper and others have dubbed the Water Village, a group of buildings on the grounds of the UA's Environmental Research Laboratory.
"The Water Village focuses on future treatment and distribution of water and wastewater, with enormous potential benefits for the community," Pepper said. "It focuses on research that provides good quality drinking water with acceptable purity, taste and odor characteristics, and is safe for human health and welfare."
Much of the strength of universities is in faculty expertise, and research facilities and equipment, but much of that is directed toward basic research. An industry-university cooperative research unit like the WET Center is designed to coordinate private and public sector units with research faculty to economically resolve problems.
The goal of the Water Village is to develop smart water distribution systems capable of self-monitoring and ultimately self-healing if there are contaminants within them, Pepper said. "We're a little bit away from self-healing, but the self-monitoring is something we're getting closer to.
"If the sensors went off, what would a person at Tucson Water do with that problem? Does that person shut down the entire water system of Tucson, or just to a neighborhood? In order to do that, we need to know where the contaminants originate and where they are going to go. We have a network distribution lab that does this."
Another lab, the point-of-use lab, develops and evaluates technology that is capable of taking out chemical and microbial contaminants prior to going into the consumer's home.
"The ultimate goal of the research – and this is futuristic thinking right now – would be to miniaturize in-line sensors in a box at a resident's home. Any water going into the home would go past the sensors and a little computer chip would tell if the water is safe to drink or not. The cost of this would be built into the cost of construction of new homes," he said.
Pepper said water reuse historically has been limited to irrigation of grasses and gardens. That could change in the future, where anticipated water reuse could include functions such as toilet flushing and fire protection.
"These are big changes and the Water Quality Center, the WET Center and the Water Village will all be involved in reclaimed water and making sure it is safe and does not have adverse health impacts in the community," Pepper said.
The Water Quality Center is part of the UA’s multidisciplinary Water Sustainability Program which includes the Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing, the NSF Science and Technology Center for Sustainability of Semi-arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas (SAHRA), the Superfund Basic Research Program and the Water Resources Research Center. The program provides science-based technical, economic, legal and policy expertise necessary for water development, use and conservation in a rapidly growing and largely urban state.
Jeff Harrison | The University of Arizona
Further reports about: > Environment > NSF > Quality > Sensors > Sustainability > Technology > Wastewater > Water > biological contaminants > clean-water technologies > dangerous chemical contaminants > distribution systems > drinking water > environmental risk > fire protection > intermediate field-scale testing facility > irrigation of grasses > monitoring of large-scale water > water distribution systems
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Medical Engineering
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences