Research Project | 2022

Advanced Water Treatment Technology: Benefits and Challenges for Acceptance

On November 3, 2022, The UCLA Water Resources Group hosted a “Hybrid in Person and on Zoom seminar.  Unlike many of our seminars, this seminar was for faculty and students and presented by water experts at UCLA, highlighting the amazing water experts in the UCLA Water Resources Group.   

This seminar highlighted the impressive and important progress in innovation that UCLA engineers are making to: 

  • Treat newly recognized contaminants. 
  • Improve water treatment processes for water that is cleaner than water quality standards. Develop new, more accurate and lower cost approaches to water quality monitoring 
  • Gain trust and acceptance by the users of water about safety and by the regulators that need to approve the use of new technology.   

Presenters were:  

  • David Jassby, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering 
  • Shaily Mahandra, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering 
  • Yoram Cohen, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 

Respondents were: 

  • Jonathan Bishop, Chief Deputy Director, State Water Resources Control Board 
  • Maria Elena Kennedy, Kennedy Communications, Consultant to water agencies and low-income communities with well water pollution problems.  

The discussion focused on ways in which to the bridge the gap between university innovations in water treatment and actual getting these designs manufactured and used where it is needed. That way we can do a better job of making polluted water safe to use, thus expanding the available clean water supply. 

The panel also discussed the roles that university technology innovators can play in working with regulators to insure that technologies are available to smaller, poorer rural communities who have the most polluted drinking water but are not the preferred private market targets for improving water treatment.    

This seminar, sharing the expertise of water treatment engineers with other water experts across the campus, with our graduate students and with outside experts makes UCLA, already a water expert powerhouse even more effective!