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Water and Energy in Texas

Brackish Groundwater in Texas

July 9th, 2015 by zodrowk

Managing Brackish Groundwater

Providing access to clean water is a grand challenge in engineering, and supplying sufficient, clean water is a problem around the globe. This challenge is visible in Texas, where drought coincides with population growth and increases in water demand. Using Texas as a case study, this article addresses which policies

are desirable to best manage the supply of brackish groundwater. We review the geological, technical, and legal contexts of groundwater in Texas and situate brackish groundwater within those constructs. We consider efforts by other U.S. states to regulate brackish groundwater and identify desirable goals for
its management, including facilitating access to and incentivizing use of brackish groundwater and protecting fresh water aquifers from potential saline intrusion related to brackish groundwater production.

Aquifer Storage and Recovery

May 19th, 2015 by zodrowk

Texas should ease regulatory hurdles for aquifer storage and recovery programs

Water planning is difficult in Texas, a state that is no stranger to drought. One tool water planners can use is aquifer storage and recovery, whereby water is stored underground, safe from evaporation, until it is needed. Read more about ASR, and some associated policy issues, in the Houston Chronicle Blog.


Profiles in Materials Science, Dan Steinberg

February 26th, 2015 by zodrowk

How many people are lucky enough to embrace their passion as a career?  Years ago, Dan Steinberg worked as the operations astronomer for the Hubble Space Telescope at the Space Telescope Science Institute.  When he wasn’t at his day job, he volunteered doing science outreach work and loved it.  In 2000, he decided it was time to leave scientific research and plunge into a career in science education.  As someone fully committed to science education and outreach, Dan knows he makes a huge difference in the lives of people young and old, teaching them about the world of science and offering them opportunities to explore the natural world in a rigorous fashion.  He also strives to be a facilitator, helping scientists effectively engage the public, building an inclusive, formal and informal science education network at one of the nation’s leading universities.

Read more about Steinberg and other Science Enthusiasts here.


Water, Texas, and an Opportunity that should not be Wasted

December 22nd, 2014 by zodrowk

Texas’ use of brackish (saline) groundwater is rapidly increasing. This water may be used directly by industry or treated by municipalities to make drinking water. I discuss brackish groundwater and potential policy implications in this blog post.

Comparative study of biofouling in RO and MD

November 5th, 2014 by zodrowk

Our recent publication on biofilms in reverse osmosis and membrane distillation is now on the Environmental Science and Technology website. (Link) Using prefiltered water from the Long Island Sound in both of these systems, we saw significant differences in the morphology of the membrane biofilms. We also looked at the microbial communities in both of these systems. We discuss how and why biofilm formation in each of these desalination systems is different.