Water and wastewater production – involving extraction, treatment, transmission, distribution, use, and disposal – require energy and impact the environment. Sustainable and advanced water/wastewater treatment technologies are part of the solution to issues relating to the water-energy-environment nexus. Development of water technologies that can use renewable energy, such as solar, would represent a significant advancement in energy savings. Solar energy production and water resources are interdependent, as water is needed to produce solar energy and, in turn, solar energy can be used to process water. Our research will result in advances in water and wastewater treatment leading to improved environmental sustainability through reducing discharge by-products into the environment, limiting chemical and material consumption for treatment, minimizing energy for water treatment and transport, and development of shallow groundwater maps coupled with use of lesser quality waters for solar energy.

The Water Team will conduct research in four areas:

  1. Energy intensity and carbon footprint for transport and treatment of drinking water and wastewater (Baghzouz, Batista, Ahmad, Fadali, and Etezadi-Amoli)
  2. Membrane Distillation of solar facility waters (Hiibel and Batista)
  3. Advanced Water Technologies (New DRI faculty to be hired in 2015)
  4. Groundwater for renewable energy (Batista, Ahmad, and Stephen)