Enabling an Urban Water Revolution

12 mars 2018, 11h00 - 12h00

Eawag Dübendorf

Speaker: David Sedlak (University of California at Berkeley)
Place: Forum Chriesbach, FC-C20

Over the past 2,500 years, three technological revolutions have made it possible to quench the thirst of cities, control waterborne diseases and eliminate the pollutants that fouled urban waterways.  Water-stressed cities are currently making large investments in new, centralized approaches for obtaining drinking water that can be considered as a fourth water revolution.  For example, cities in California, Texas and Colorado are turning to the reuse of municipal wastewater, harvesting of urban runoff and desalination of seawater to substitute for increasingly unreliable imported water sources.  But this may not be good enough.  Challenges associated with climate change, sea-level rise and competition for water resources may require us to develop new strategies that involve active management of natural systems as well as use of distributed water treatment and distribution systems.  Ultimately, the right approach for enhancing water security will depend upon local factors including geography, geology and leadership.

David Sedlak is a recognized professor and scientist working in the fields of environmental engineering and chemistry. Besides his various academic activities, he is the Editor in Chief of Environmental Science & Technology and the author of “Water 4.0”, “a book that examines the ways in which we can gain insight into current water issues by understanding the history of urban water systems”