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UTSA launches Water Institute of Texas to promote collaboration on water issues

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(June 5, 2012) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio has launched the Water Institute of Texas to promote collaboration between nearly three dozen UTSA researchers who are studying water-related issues. Scholars in the institute will provide data, information, and technology and policy solutions for decision makers and companies developing short- and long-term water sustainability strategies.

The scarcity of water is one of the most significant challenges facing humanity today. Although water resources are immense, less than one percent of the world's water is available for human consumption. Today, nearly 600 million people around the world face a water shortage. In 2025, nearly three billion people will face a water shortage.

"Typically, we think of water shortages as problems that affect only third-world countries," said Mauli Agrawal, dean of the UTSA College of Engineering. "However, water scarcity is a major issue for South Texas, where the land is arid and the population continues to grow. Locally, farmers, city residents, businesses, energy producers, the oil and gas industry and natural species all vie for water, leading to a unique spectrum of technological, social and political issues."

Researchers in the new UTSA water institute will focus on five key areas:

  • Managing the current water supply
  • Developing innovative water sources
  • Enhancing water quality
  • Carrying out community outreach and education
  • Studying the demographics and economics of water

UTSA master's and doctoral students, particularly those in civil and environmental engineering, geology, environmental sciences, public policy, education, architecture and business, will conduct research in the Water Institute of Texas. Special efforts will be made to include undergraduate students in WIT research, training, community education and outreach activities.

WIT scholars also will partner with water utilities such as the San Antonio Water System, the San Antonio River Authority and the Edwards Aquifer Authority as well as businesses, educational institutions, social agencies and community groups. UTSA anticipates that researchers will study water management, aquifer storage and recovery, desalination processes and plant improvements, bacteriological source tracking, wastewater treatment, water policy and other related topics.

A.T. Papagiannakis, professor and Robert F. McDermott Endowed Chair of the UTSA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will serve as the institute's interim director while UTSA conducts a national search for a permanent director. Alan Dutton, associate professor and chair of the UTSA Department of Geology, will serve as the institute's assistant director.

 

 

Did You Know?

UTSA researcher is a star behind the cloud

A revolution in cloud computing is underway, and Ravi Sandhu believes it will be much bigger than the PC and Internet revolutions that have already changed the way we live. Sandhu, director of the UTSA Institute for Cyber Security, says UTSA is taking a leadership role in tackling three fundamental cloud technology problems: how to build and operate the cloud, how to use it profitably for diverse applications and how to keep it secure.

Sandhu, the Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security in the College of Sciences, and Ram Krishnan, assistant professor of electrical engineering in the UTSA College of Engineering, are funded by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to improve cloud security.

Did you know? Sandhu, a world-renowned cybersecurity expert, holds 30 patents, has authored more than 250 papers and been cited more than 30,000 times.

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Events
July 30, 5 - 7 p.m.

Networking and happy hour with AIA San Antonio's Women in Architecture

Join AIA San Antonio’s Women in Architecture group for their networking and happy hour event, where all design professionals are welcome.
Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St.

Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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UTSA's Vision

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