About The WaterCAMPWS
A National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center founded in 2003, WaterCAMPWS promotes interdisciplinary research among faculty and students at ten U.S. universities and seven partners at national laboratories and water institutions. Structured around a model of collaborative research, the multi-institutional efforts of WaterCAMPWS focus on improving and increasing global water supplies through research, education and public awareness. WaterCAMPWS research organized into the overarching theme areas of Water & Health and Water & Energy. Research efforts focus on the basic science of the aqueous interface and on developing advanced materials and systems that exploit the unique physics and chemistry at the interface. At the same time, WaterCAMPWS conducts extensive, aggressive education and knowledge transfer activities to advance water purification science and technology.
The mission of WaterCAMPWS is to develop revolutionary new materials and systems for safely and economically purifying water for human use, while simultaneously developing the diverse human resources needed to exploit the research advances and the knowledge base created.
The main vision of WaterCAMPWS is that the problems in increasing potable water supplies can be solved by focusing on the basic science of the aqueous interface, and developing advanced materials and systems that exploit the unique physics and chemistry at the interface. Our core thesis is that by developing the human resources to study the science of the aqueous interface with new materials synthesis and characterization that are integrated into water treatment systems, WaterCAMPWS will greatly advance water purification. Our legacy will be a rich body of intellectual achievement, newly developed materials and engineered systems, and highly educated students, researchers, practitioners, and stakeholders in clean water, and to become the preeminent source of knowledge for advanced materials and systems in water purification. Success will be measured by the direct impact in research and human development that each WaterCAMPWS participant has on enhancing humankind.
Profound threats to providing sufficient safe and clean water face the peoples of the world, affecting their health and economic well-being. The problems with economically providing clean water are growing so quickly that incremental improvements in current methods of purification of water will leave much of the U.S. and the world without clean water in mere decades. The challenges to overcome in science, technology, and society require a long-term vision of what needs to be solved. Below is a listing of the Grand Challenges that need to be addressed over the next twenty years to meet the impending threats to clean water. They serve as arrows for WaterCAMPWS, pointing the way for our efforts in advancing revolutionary new materials and systems for water purification.
To advance the fundamental understanding of the interaction of materials with water and its constituents: adsorption and binding of contaminant molecules and foulants on surfaces; energetics and transport of water, ions, and organic molecules through material systems; and reactions of inorganic, organic and biological compounds on catalysts and substrates. The grand challenge is to use this enhanced understanding of aqueous interfaces to guide the development of new materials and systems and inspire revolutionary new approaches for water purification.
To develop new materials (membranes, disinfectants, catalysts, sorbents, filters and associated processes), material treatments (coatings, particles, chemical transformations), and chemical and biological processes that can be used in new cost-effective, energy-efficient, scalable and adaptable systems. These systems will facilitate the development of new and marginal sources of water by effectively addressing the major barriers to source development:
1. Excessive salinity
2. Toxic and/or persistent contaminants
3. Microbial contaminants with evolving pathogenicity, virulence, and resilience
4. Trace contaminants coexisting with high concentrations of inactive particulates and natural organic matter
5. Organic and inorganic fouling
6. Materials regeneration
7. System degradation, and
8. Management of residuals.
To effectively engage domestic and foreign governmental, private and non-profit sector agents to facilitate the transfer of WaterCAMPWS knowledge, expertise and materials for widespread public use. To ensure the economic viability of WaterCAMPWS by securing and maintaining revenue streams sufficient to support the Center.