At the University of Oklahoma WATER Center, researchers are working to provide solutions in developing countries where clean, safe water is nonexistent. According to Center Director David Sabatini, 1 billion people in the world do not have a safe water supply, which leads to 2 million deaths a year.
Located within OU’s School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, the OU WATER Center relies on Sabatini’s expertise in physiochemical processes for water treatment and that of the Center’s three associate directors: Robert Nairn, treatment wetlands; Randall Kolar, surface and groundwater supply; and Robert Knox, ground water hydrology.
While Sabatini and his colleagues differ in their approach to solving global water challenges, the overarching goal of the Center is to address water dilemmas in countries where the need is the greatest. The Center is becoming recognized as the U.S. leader for work on this global concern.
OU is one of the few universities in the country with a water initiative devoted to developing countries. Since 2005, Center researchers have been making an impact in four distinct areas: teaching, research, service and international leadership.
For example, Sabatini taught an Honors Perspectives/Presidential Dream Course on water in developing countries during the fall 2009 semester. And the OU WATER Center hosted the first international water conference in Norman. At this conference, the first OU Water Prize ($25,000) was awarded to Dr. Stephen Luby, M.D., in celebration of his work in Pakistan and Bangladesh—both countries with severe water resource challenges.
The Center’s research focuses on climate change, water treatment and water contamination and cleanup. Although Center researchers are motivated by matters in developing countries, solutions often come from research on local basis. Developing countries have some of the very same challenges as those found in the City of Norman or at the Tar Creek cleanup site.
“The solutions developed here can be applied in these countries,” remarks Sabatini. OU researchers are studying the redistribution of water resources as a result of climate change; the removal of arsenic and fluoride from ground water; and water contamination and cleanup methods.
Population growth is the leading contributing factor where current or potential water shortages are concerned. Norman and other cities in the state are tackling these same types of concerns. The difference is technology to treat water so that it is clean and safe. “We are finding solutions that will work in countries that need them,” says Sabatini.
“In the United States, we take water for granted,” laments Sabatini. “We turn on a faucet, and water comes out. But in developing countries where people walk for miles each day to bring water to their families, water is precious. They won’t even use it to wash their hands.”
Water and sanitation are key components for good health and a better quality of life. Unlike other scarce resources—energy, for instance, there are no alternatives for clean water. Ultimately, the OU WATER Center is working to bring clean, safe water supplies to the poorest countries in the world.
Learn more about the OU WATER Center at http://water.ou.edu or contact David Sabatini by e-mail at Sabatini@ou.edu.
Jana Smith | EurekAlert!
Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital
Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences
26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering