ERC Director Touts Benefits of Urban Water Reinvention in Nationwide Tour

Achievement date: 
2013
Outcome/accomplishment: 

A lecture tour helped publicize the vision and approach of the Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Re-inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt), an NSF-funded program based at Stanford University. The tour took ReNUWIt’s Director, Richard G. Luthy, to a number of campuses to lecture under the auspices of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP)’s, which selected Dr. Luthy as Distinguished Lecturer for 2011-2012. The lecture tour helpd bring ReNUWIt’s story to academic colleagues, students and industry professionals across the country. Typically each lecture included participants from multiple universities in a specific region with videotaping and webcasting.

Impact/benefits: 

By highlighting the exciting aspects of urban water systems, ReNUWIt encouraged student interest in systems research and helped introduce new concepts in urban water to the broader water community. The lectures brought information about ReNUWIt’s efforts to academic institutions and professionals across the United States and Canada.

Explanation/Background: 

Dr. Luthy’s presentations described collaborative research to address the mounting water crisis faced by many cities, especially in the West, Southwest and Southeast. He explained the Center’s vision of newly engineered systems that provide decreased reliance on centralized facilities by employing distributed treatment systems that embrace energy-neutral wastewater reclamation and nutrient recovery. He also gave examples of those, and of managed natural systems that enhance our ability to transmit, store, and purify water while simultaneously restoring urban hydrology and aquatic habitat. Dr. Luthy’s lectures also discussed why some proposed water reuse projects are implemented and others are aborted or delayed.