University of arizona opens water research facility

Published:2016-03-15  Views:1

TUCSON, Ariz. — Nov. 24, 2015 — A new facility at the University of Arizona aims to develop new technologies and more energy sustainable solutions to address water scarcity, according to a press release.

The $5.5 million WEST (Water & Energy Sustainable Technology) Center brings together industry, government and academia to develop, evaluate and demonstrate technologies that advance sustainable solutions for water and energy, noted the release.

It will facilitate technology transfer between public utilities and the private sector, and will also educate and train technicians, utility personnel and students in the intricacies of water treatment solutions, according to Dow Chemical, a founding member and sponsor of the center, stated the release.

The facility is located within Pima County’s new water reclamation facility, Agua Nueva, and adjacent to reclaimed water recharge basins and constructed wetlands.

“The WEST Center will target the water-energy nexus by ensuring a supply of safe drinking water to meet community needs for the foreseeable future, while meeting sustainable energy requirements,” explained Ian Pepper, co-director at WEST and a UA professor of soil, water and environmental science, in the release.

Public-private partnerships like this are key to advancing and commercializing energy efficient solutions for water treatment, according to Tracy Young, water growth technologies R&D director for Dow Water & Process Solutions and WEST industrial advisory board member, reported the release.

“Advancing water treatment technology helps enable companies — particularly in the power, food and manufacturing industries — to enhance their operations through increased water and energy efficiency,” added Snehal Desai, global business director for Dow Water & Process Solutions.