LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Seven California colleges and universities have been selected to receive
grants to fund proposals to develop new water conservation and supply
technologies in support of a more sustainable water future, as part of
the 2018 Southern California World Water Forum.
From a project that contemplates using dew to irrigate urban gardens to
another that will consider a new way to desalinate ocean water, the
grant recipients propose and explore innovative ways to provide safe
water to communities in California and around the world.
“Our California colleges and universities are fertile ground to develop
the next generation of sustainable technologies,” said Jeffrey
Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of
Southern California, one of the World Water Forum co-sponsors. “These
ideas help ensure water reliability not only in local communities, where
they are greatly needed, but also across the globe.”
In addition to Metropolitan, the forum is co-sponsored by the U.S.
Bureau of Reclamation, the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County,
Friends of the United Nations and Water For People.
The program awards grants of $10,000 to college teams to research,
develop and communicate water-use efficiency or local supply
technologies and strategies that can be employed cost-effectively in
water-stressed regions, locally, regionally or internationally. Through
the program, grant winners must design a project or prototype that will
contribute to a more sustainable water future, including developing a
business plan and providing evidence it could become fully sustainable.
This year’s recipients include Saddleback College researchers who will
explore the possibility of using dew and fog to irrigate urban farms and
landscapes by installing and studying a dew and fog catchment system at
a Laguna Beach park.
Another proposal from University of California at Davis researchers will
further develop and test a solar-powered water treatment system that
could be used in rural, underserved communities. The system is
hyper-localized – treating water either as it enters homes or as it
leaves faucets – allowing for the particular contaminants of individual
communities to be addressed.
The World Water Forum grant program was founded in 2006, following the
United Nations declaration of the International Decade of Water to raise
awareness about global water issues. Since then, World Water Forum has
awarded $800,000 to 32 local colleges and universities on projects to
advance a sustainable water future.
In addition to developing new water technologies, the grants foster
Southern California’s future workforce in engineering, environmental
science and water careers.
“World Water Forum inspires students by giving them a direct connection
between their class work and the crucial job of ensuring a sustainable
water source for the public,” said Benita Horn, who manages the program
as part of Metropolitan’s education programs.
This year’s grant recipients also include:
• A San Diego State University project to find a lower cost and less
energy-intensive approach to seawater desalination. Researchers will
explore using low-grade waste heat to convert seawater to vapor and then
condense it to form pure water.
• A Loma Linda University School of Public Health project to reduce
contamination in community water wells in Chad.
• A University of California at Los Angeles study on the safety of using
treated wastewater to irrigate urban parks, and the impact on antibiotic
• A University of California at Riverside effort to develop a more
water-efficient scrubber that reduces ammonia emissions in dairy
• A University of Southern California project to implement a rainwater
harvesting system that will capture, filter and store rainwater for a
community in Guatemala.
The next round of World Water Forum grants will open in October 2018.
More information is available on Metropolitan’s World
Water Forum website.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a
state-established cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving
nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water
from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local
supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation,
recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
(213) 217-6450; (202) 821-5253, mobile
Bob Muir, (213) 217-6930;
(213) 324-5213, mobile