May 7-13, 2017 is Drinking Water Week

See what research Berkeley Water Center is doing relating to drinking water.

Q&A: Lead, chloramines and drinking water safety

Conditions leading to widespread lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan are not unique to the troubled Rust Belt city. In recent decades, Flint and many other cities have made the switch from chlorine to chloramine for water treatment; this can, without proper management, release toxic lead from old pipes directly into drinking water. Here in California, the city of Stockton drew pointed criticism from environmental activist Erin Brockovich for making the switch in January. But as civil and environmental engineering professor David Sedlak explains, some of that fear may be misplaced.  

In the Water Works: Bringing Clean Water to Kenya’s Largest Slum

Nairobi is a tough town, and there’s no place in Nairobi that’s tougher than Kibera, Africa’s largest slum. Maybe a half-million people live there, maybe a million. No one’s really counting. But virtually everyone is desperately poor, with per capita earnings averaging about a dollar a day. Rape, assault, and murder are simple facts of daily life. The streets are paved with rotting garbage, sewage flows in the gutters, disease is rampant, and city services are largely nonexistent. But Kibera does have one thing that isn’t hellish and misery-inducing: a water production and treatment facility that conjoins the latest information and sensor technology with sophisticated green construction techniques; a facility that transcends its humble environs and points to the urban infrastructure of the future.

Using Mobile Phones to Alert Households Waiting for ‘NextDrop’ of Water

A UC Berkeley student created the phone-based program NextDrop to notify people when water will be available, because although nearly half of the world’s population has water piped into their homes and there have been significant improvements to water access in recent decades, many people living in urban areas of developing countries still do not have easy access to this most basic resource.

Collaborating to Improve Home Water Treatment in Rural China

Doctoral student Alasdair Cohen collaborates with government health researchers to better understand water treatment methods in rural China, leading to formal research collaboration between UC Berkeley and the CDC-China.

Lessons in Flow Cytometry

Using a simple inquiry as a teaching moment, Berkeley Water Center PhD student Scott Miller invited fellow students into the lab to learn about flow cytometry and its applications to measure water quality.

Well in Control: Berkeley Startup Helps People Find Out What They’re Drinking

Tens of millions of U.S. residents get their water from private wells that have no oversight at all, but a team of Berkeley scientists and entrepreneurs—led by John Pujol, civil and environmental engineer; and Susan Amrose, assistant project scientist and lecturer in Cal’s engineering department, and program director at Berkeley Lab’s Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies are on it.

As global climate warms, new study looks to minimize risks of waterborne disease

A UC Berkeley School of Public Health research team has been awarded a $2 million, 3-year grant by the National Science Foundation to develop new approaches for understanding and responding to changes in waterborne infectious disease risks that come with a changing and more variable climate.

Cancer-causing chemical in drinking water traced to fire-fighting foam

Fire-fighting foam containing highly fluorinated chemicals is contaminating drinking water supplies around many of the nation’s military bases, airports and industrial sites, according to a new study by UC Berkeley and Harvard University researchers

How do we move past the yuck factor in potable water reuse?

Associate Director of the Wheeler Institute for Water Law and Policy at Berkeley Law Michael Kiparsky talks about making potable water palatable for people.

blueEnergy’s Water and Sanitation Technology for Nicaragua

The enormity of the world’s water and sanitation problems cannot be overstated. UN Water estimates that more than 3 million people die from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes each year, and nearly 10 percent of the global disease burden could be reduced through improved water supply, sanitation, hygiene, and water resource management.

From Large Scale to Small Scale

As large centralized wastewater treatment centers are taxed by long pipelines, energy costs and adding new customers, UC Berkeley researchers are looking to decentralize systems when they can and safely provide water in new ways.