The University of Arizona recently established a Water Quality Center (W-Q-C) through the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation. The W-Q-C is directed by Dr. Ian L. Pepper of the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science. Several of the W-Q-C members, including Dr. Pepper are also investigators in our Superfund Program.
Water quality (and quantity) is a critical concern to the desert Southwest. The establishment of the W-Q-C and the emphasis of the Superfund Program on water contaminants are important resources for the Southwest in addressing water quality issues. The W-Q-C consists of an interdisciplinary group of biologists, chemists, physicists, hydrologists, and engineers working together to resolve water quality problems. Funding for the W-Q-C is supplied by a variety of companies and agencies interested in specific water quality issues, as well as the National Science Foundation. It is the dynamic industry-university relationship that makes this NSF Water Quality Center unique. In addition, it is the combination of University expertise and corporate funding that leads to scientific discoveries that can enhance water quality for the community at large. The Mission of the W-Q-C is to investigate physical, chemical, and microbial processes that affect the quality of surface and subsurface waters.
Examples of the research emphasis of the W-Q-C include:
- Evaluation of disinfection by-products resulting from chlorination of groundwater
- Methodology development for emerging pathogens in surface water
- Evaluation of heterotrophic plate count populations in drinking water
- Remediation technologies to enhance groundwater quality
- Mine tailing stabilization to protect surface waters