The University of Arizona’s Water and Energy Sustainable Technology (WEST) Centre has opened with a brief to “help enable researchers, public officials, and industry leaders to work together in developing new technologies and more energy sustainable solutions to address water scarcity,” according to founding member and sponsor, Dow Water and Process Solutions.

Dow said the US$ 5.5 million centre will bring together industry, government, and academia to address the nation’s growing water and energy needs through research and technology. Dow research and development director and WEST industrial advisory board member, Tracy Young, said the centre: “shares our commitment to advancing technology and sustainability partnerships to help address the water-energy nexus and bring us closer to a circular economy.”

She added: “Powerful public-private partnerships like this one are key to advancing and commercializing energy efficient solutions for water treatment.”

The WEST Center is co-located with the Pima County Water Reclamation Facility (Agua Nueva) and next to reclaimed water recharge basins and constructed wetlands. It will develop and evaluate technologies that advance sustainability in water and energy and bring on technology transfer between public utilities and the private sector.

Global business director, Dow Water and Process Solutions, Snehal Desai, said: “Public-private partnerships help inspire water innovation to combat the current water, food and energy shortages while also creating a step-change for the future.”

Dow said its involvement with the WEST Center aligns with its 2025 sustainability goals. The company aims to work with industry leaders, non-profit organizations and governments on projects that improve adoption of sustainable solutions in water re-use.