Dick Luthy is the Silas H. Palmer Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University and a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment. His expertise is environmental engineering and water quality. He’s Director of the NSF’s Engineering Research Center for re- inventing the nation’s urban water infrastructure (renuwit.org), a multi-university collaboration to develop, promote and achieve new, more sustainable solutions to urban water challenges. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Many cities, especially in the west, face increasing water scarcity and a mounting water crisis arising from climate change, population growth, ecosystem demands and deteriorating infrastructure. Dr Luthy will describe collaborative research efforts to address this crisis through more sustainable solutions to urban water use, reuse and management. Examples of engineered systems that employ distributed treatment systems, embrace energy-neutral wastewater reclamation and nutrient recovery, and manage natural resources will be described. These systems enhance our ability to transmit, store, and purify water while simultaneously restoring urban hydrology and aquatic habitat. While institutional issues confront water innovation, university-industry collaborations have the potential to identify and overcome these barriers.
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