Water Technology Innovation

Role of water technology innovation in reimagining global water systems in a world of increasing water scarcity, and connecting perspectives of scientist and engineers with those of policy makers

Role of water technology innovation in reimagining global water systems in a world of increasing water scarcity, and connecting perspectives of scientist and engineers with those of policy makers

As we reimagine global clean energy systems through the energy transition, a similar effort will be needed to ensure clean water access.  Just as innovation drives the energy transition, innovation will be a key factor across different industries to reduce water consumption, reuse water that is currently discharged back to the environment, and acquire water from sources that are presently unattainable.

This innovation centers around advances in technology, which are at the forefront of research in hydrologic science and environmental engineering. While current water policy focuses primarily on water rights and economic markets, policy is also a key factor enabling and prioritizing research aimed at promoting the adoption of these technologies on a national and global scale. Colorado School of Mines and the Payne Institute are collaborating with industry, academia, and government on research to identify solutions to these issues, and enact policy to aid this transition.

NEWS

Water for energy: Characterizing co-evolving energy and water systems under twin climate and energy system nonstationarities 1/3/2022

Water for energy: Characterizing co-evolving energy and water systems under twin climate and energy system nonstationarities

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Adrienne Marshall and Emily Grubert write about how as water-for-energy quantification efforts progress, research should emphasize decision support for energy system design, incorporating crucial hydrologic dynamics.  Beyond the location of water use, relative scarcity, and potential competing uses, these include sub-daily to interannual temporal dynamics, the impacts of climate change on these dimensions, potential feedbacks between energy and water systems, and the impacts of hydrologic variability or change on policy-based incentive structures. This article reviews prior US-focused efforts to quantify water use for energy, highlights why these nonstationarities are analytically relevant with a brief policy case study, and highlights research needs for decision support under twin nonstationarities. January 3, 2022.  

EPA’s forever chemical plan could have limited impact on Colorado Springs-area contaminated aquifer 10/20/2021

EPA’s forever chemical plan could have limited impact on Colorado Springs-area contaminated aquifer

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Chris Higgins contributed to this article about a sweeping federal plan announced Monday to monitor and limit toxic forever chemicals in drinking water and the environment, and to remediate pollution would likely have limited impact on El Paso County water providers with known contamination that have already taken mitigation measures. But, it could reveal other contamination problems locally and nationally. October 20, 2021.

Global Change – Fifth National Climate Assessment 9/22/2021

Fifth Annual Climate Assessment

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian has been appointed as an author for the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) that will be published in 2023. The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) was established by Presidential initiative in 1989 and mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990. Its mandate is to develop and coordinate “a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” USGCRP comprises 13 federal agencies that conduct or use research on global change and its impacts on society. It functions under the direction of the Subcommittee on Global Change Research of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Environment. September 22, 2021.

There’s PFAS in Our Water. How Do We Get Them Out? 9/9/2021

There’s PFAS in Our Water. How Do We Get Them Out?

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Chris Higgins contributes to this article about how contaminated drinking water is becoming an increasing area of concern for PFAS exposure. As the prevalence of PFAS in public drinking water sources grows, treatment facilities must start filtering specifically for the chemical class in order to improve their contaminant levels. September 9, 2021.

The quest to put carbon to rest at sea 4/22/2021

The quest to put carbon to rest at sea

Payne Institute Program Manager Laura Singer contributed to this article about how the Earth’s ocean acts as a global climate regulator, and scientists are increasingly studying its chemistry and geology to find potential ways to store carbon dioxide captured from emissions or removed from the air.  Oceans are bearing some of the brunt of the climate change.  April 22, 2021.

Energy Infrastructure and the Epistemological Pillars of Peace 3/1/2021

PART II: Energy Infrastructure and the Epistemological Pillars of Peace

Payne Institute Fellow Griffin Thompson and Director Morgan Bazilian write the second part, of a two part series, about the Palestinian Authority’s efforts towards greater autonomy, prosperity, and peace that can be supported through a new perspective on how energy systems can affect and contribute to broader national and regional political and economic goals. No longer can we afford to ignore the potential for political development that is intrinsic to the processes of economic development. March 1, 2021.

Energy Infrastructure and the Epistemological Pillars of Peace 2/22/2021

PART I: Energy Infrastructure and the Epistemological Pillars of Peace

Payne Institute Fellow Griffin Thompson and Director Morgan Bazilian write a two part series about policies for energy service delivery that have for too long been governed by a restrictive sense of the energy system—one that isolates energy from the broader socio-political and diplomatic environments in which they evolve. The energy needs of Israel and the Palestinian Territories and their quest for cleaner, more resilient energy systems offer an opportunity to redefine the way we think about energy systems. Solutions, in turn, help highlight the multiple domestic and foreign policy benefits of a low carbon energy system. February 22, 2021.

11 WAYS TO MEASURE CLEAN GROWTH 9/22/2020

11 WAYS TO MEASURE CLEAN GROWTH

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon contributes to this report from the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices that highlights the multiple facets of clean growth by unpacking the connections between economic growth, climate change, and human well-being. We identify 11 data-driven indicators that, together, can guide efforts by governments, businesses, and communities to not only tackle climate change but to do so in a way that achieves sustained growth and the best overall outcomes for people and society as a whole.  September 22, 2020.  

Read All News

For more information about the Water Technology Innovation Research Area at the Payne Institute for Public Policy, please contact our Deputy Director, Gregory Clough, at gclough@mines.edu.