SEPTEMBER 22, 2020 — UTSA has launched the Institute for Water Research, Sustainability and Policy. Led by Saugata Datta, the Weldon W. Hammond Jr. Endowed Distinguished Professor in Hydrogeology, the institute brings together faculty across UTSA to collaborate in the areas of water quality, water quantity, flood control and water policy.
Researchers will study the effect of climate change on water resources in the San Antonio area, South Texas region, I-10 corridor and the United States-Mexico border. Eventually, they will expand their studies to include national and international water issues and solutions.
“An institute based on water research is absolutely needed, based on the part of Texas where we live,” said Datta. “There was a need for understanding water availability, quantity and various aspects of water in terms of public health and economics because water plays a big role in terms of the economy of the city and state. The societal impact of water issues is significantly important in a state like Texas.”
The institute will investigate multidisciplinary water issues, such as hydro-terrorism and the food-water-energy nexus across regional, national and international political boundaries.
“UTSA is in a very pivotal geographical and political junction as well as the future sustainability scenario,” said Datta. “UTSA is playing a big role and one of the roles that can bring multiple scholars, researchers and students together is the theme of water. Water permeates every aspect of the disciplines at UTSA. I couldn’t imagine anyone better than UTSA to take a lead on water.”
In addition to geopolitical water research, members of the institute will seek to understand the resiliency of San Antonio’s drinking water resources as well as coastal water resources. Researchers from various disciplines will study the effects of hydrological processes, flood control, water quality, human behavior, remediation, and impacts on human and ecosystem health arising from stressors on coastal water resources.
“Since its very inception this institute has been designed as a comprehensive and highly collaborative unit, with members across all disciplines representing every college at UTSA,” said Jose Lopez-Ribot, associate dean for research in the College of Sciences. “As such, the new institute is truly transdisciplinary in nature. The institute places UTSA in a unique position to address water challenges in San Antonio, Texas and beyond—both in the present and the future.”
The institute’s core faculty includes researchers from the College of Sciences; College of Engineering; College for Health, Community and Policy; College of Liberal and Fine Arts; and College of Education and Human Development.
“UTSA has a rich history of interdisciplinary collaboration in all areas related to water, which has strengthened our ties to the San Antonio community, our region and poised us to guide water policies in similar regions,” said JoAnn Browning, dean of the College of Engineering. “This institute bridges multiple administrative structures to enable cross-cutting research that will shape the future of our cities and hometowns.”
Students will have access to cutting-edge technology in various laboratories across campus that are now part of the center’s umbrella of water research. They will also have the opportunity to participate in novel approaches to laboratory, field and modeling-based studies as they learn more about water science.
“We will be bringing in students from different disciplines,” said Datta. “We will also be reaching out to local community colleges as well as other universities around San Antonio.”
The institute plans to offer certificate-level courses and will implement masters and Ph.D. programs in the near future.
“The Institute for Water Research, Sustainability and Policy is an essential resource for the San Antonio community,” said David Silva, dean of the College of Sciences. “Our growing population and ongoing drought issues demand creative, science-based solutions. I am confident that the collaborative research coming out of this institute will positively impact San Antonio’s future.”
Interested in wellbeing programs, events and resources? Every Wednesday at noon you can stop by virtually and ask any questions you may have about Student Health Services, Counseling and Mental Health Services, and the PEACE office.Virtual Event
Floor captains play a critical role in emergency preparedness, safety awareness and crime prevention techniques throughout the university. They focus on safety and security initiatives while providing guidance and direction to building occupants. During emergency activations, they assist with required evacuations and reentry, shelter-in-place commands, interface with police and other first responders, and help those who may require assistancer.MyTraining Webinar
Roadrunners who plan to learn, teach, live, work or research at UTSA this summer are invited to attend one of these town halls where members of UTSA's Public Health Task Force will share updates from their recently released 4.0 report. The town halls will be a terrific opportunity to ask questions and learn more about summer campus operations.Virtual Event
Honors College students will be presented with their stoles to wear to Commencement. The Honors College provides stoles only to students who are eligible to graduate with honors.Retama Auditorium
Victory celebrations in San Antonio always include honking car horns, and we are carrying that tradition over to UTSA. If you are in San Antonio, join us for a nostalgic Commencement Drive around the Main Campus. This new tradition began in May 2020 and will begin at the Brackenridge (BK 5) parking lot adjacent to the Child Development Center. Vehicles can begin gathering at 5:00 p.m. The parade begins at 5:30 p.m.Brackenridge (BK 5) parking lot, Main Campus
In person ceremony for students recieving their doctorate degrees.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom, Main Campus
In person ceremoney for University College students.Retama Auditorium, Main Campus
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