News, Events, and Updates
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News, Events, and Updates

“We’ve always known ours was contaminated: the problem with America’s water”

Aging infrastructure, legacy pollution and emerging contaminants across the US are driving a growing urgency to do something about America’s water crisis. Read the article in the Guardian, for which Prof. David Sedlak was interviewed.

California resident Florencia Ramos has been purchasing drinking water for herself and her family for more than a decade. Photo credit: Gary Kazanjian/Ensia

Climate and Impacts Research Hub Fall 2020

Every month, join us for an hour of lightning talks and critical thinking around climate research. The “Climate Change & Impacts” seminar is Berkeley’s new student initiative to create a space to see and learn about the breadth of research relevant to climate solutions, and includes topics like measuring extreme precipitation in a changing climate to the ecological and political viability of municipal organic waste.  The first session is Tuesday September 8th. See flyer and website:
The first speakers are Ned Motler talking about Measuring Extreme Precipitation in a Changing Climate and Alan Rhoades presenting his work on The influence of climate change on western US hydroclimate.

Climate and Impacts Research Hub

A new student-lead collaboration, called the Climate and Impacts Research Hub will continue in Spring 2020. This semester, we heard from 9 different graduate students about their research and had a cross-disciplinary discussion and critique. This Hub is a start of campus-wide network for graduate students to collaborate on, learn about, and develop their climate-related research. See the website: to sign up for emails, see the past speakers, and contribute to the discussion now.

Desalination Is Booming as Cities Run out of Water

BWC affiliate and Wheeler Water Institute Director Michael Kiparsky talks to Wired about Desalination Is Booming as Cities Run out of Water.

How California is defying Trump’s environmental rollbacks

Berkeley Water Center affiliate Holly Doremus talks to the LA times about How California is defying Trump’s environmental rollbacks.

The sanitation and urban agriculture nexus: urine collection and application as fertilizer in São Paulo, Brazil

Separately collected urine is an attractive potential fertilizer because of its high nutrient content, low cost, and inherent linkage of urban wastewater management and peri-urban agriculture. Urine from waterless urinals was applied to corn and lettuce plants to examine the impact of urine application rates and frequency on plant growth and soil parameters. In both corn and lettuce experiments, urine application significantly (p < 0.05) increased growth and leaf production relative to control plants. More frequent applications led to lower soil cation exchange capacities for corn and higher soil nitrogen content for both crops. Based on preliminary implementation calculations, waterless urinals at the University of São Paulo (USP), School of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities campus could lead to over 1,500 m3 of water saved and 360 m3 of urine produced on an annual basis. These experiments and modeling results are discussed in the context of scaling up urban urine collection, transport, and fertilization in São Paulo, Brazil.