Water Institute of Texas formed to combine research

Desalination processes and plant improvements, aquifer storage and recovery, and wastewater treatment are among the topics to be studied by researchers at the newly formed Water Institute of Texas (WIT) in San Antonio, USA.

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

Researchers at WIT 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 demographics/economics of water
  • UTSA masters and doctoral students, particularly those in civil and environmental engineering, geology, environmental sciences, public policy, education, architecture and business, will conduct research in the institute. Special efforts will be made to include undergraduate students in WIT’s research, training, community education and outreach activities.

    WIT’s scholars will also 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.

    AT Papagiannakis, 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, chair of the UTSA Department of Geology, will serve as the institute’s assistant director.