Wednesday, September 02, 2015

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?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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