Collaborative Research: IndustryUniversity Cooperative Research Center: Water and Environmental Technology Center

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

This Graduate Research Diversity Supplement (GRDS) aims to address underrepresented graduate student participation in the NSF-IUCRC funded Water and Environmental Technology (WET) Center at Arizona State University. In 2011 we identified an excellent candidate (Ms. Jacelyn Rice), an African-American woman, who began to pursue her Ph.D. research in environmental engineering on a topic that fit the mission of the WET center. Our stated mission is Human societies have eternally been associated with sources of water. These waterways bear witness to the everlasting story of human struggle and success, and also show the scars of human plight at the hands of nature. The quality and quantity of water used in a society truly reflects its evolutionary stage. In the 21st century water quality will be a paradigm of social and industrial development. Ms. Rice will continue to conduct research towards her dissertation and further the mission of the WET Center. As part of the intellectual merit for the research Ms. Rice focuses on developing a nationwide model that links locations of wastewater discharges (and population density), drinking water intakes and major rivers in order to be able to estimate, under various hydrologic and future flow conditions, the percentage of wastewater in drinking water supplies. This is important because many legacy pollutants (herbicides, metals, bacteria), emerging pollutants (personal care products, nanomaterials, pathogenic virus) and pollutants yet to be identified are present in wastewater effluents that may limit the beneficial use of wastewater as a means to augment drinking water supplies. Some municipalities are advancing on intentional potable reuse of wastewater, while we suspect many hundreds of other municipalities already have drinking waters impacted by upstream discharges of wastewater. To compliment that mathematical and hydrologic modeling, Ms. Rice also plans to incorporate social interviews into her research to understand the potential public acceptance of water of wastewater origin in their drinking water supply. Thus, her planned research would further the mission of the WET Center by identifying locations where advanced technologies may first be sought in the arena of wastewater reuse, to provide unit process barriers to legacy and emerging pollution issues of chemical or biological origin. Furthermore, her research will allow our WET Center to engage in among our first social science focused efforts in an area of critical importance to advancing the benefits of the center (public acceptance of new technologies for advanced water purification) to our WET Center members.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date2/15/091/31/14

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $454,999.00

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