The U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources is requesting proposals for the Water Resources Research National Competitive Grants Program, FY 2017 (104g) matching grants to support research on improving and enhancing the nation's water supply.
Oct. 2: WRRC Assoc. Director Jean McLain to Present at Pima Co. Regional Flood District Brown Bag
Pima County Regional Flood Control District Monthly Brown Bag Series
Speaker: Jean McLain, Ph.D. (Associate Director, University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center)
Presentation: Antibiotic Resistance and Recycled Municipal Wastewater: Is There a Link?
Date/Time: Wed., Oct. 2, 12 p.m. (97 E. Congress, 3rd Floor Conference Rooms A & B)
In September 2013, the Centers for Disease Control reported that more than 2 million Americans develop antibiotic-resistant infections each year, and nearly 23,000 die as a result, putting a hard number on a growing and extremely serious public health threat. A few months earlier, the City of Flagstaff received nationwide news attention when antibiotic resistance genes were detected within the reclaimed water distribution system. Are these two findings connected? It is clear that antibiotics are over-used and misused in the United States, and the inability of the majority of wastewater treatment plants to remove antibiotics from recycled water has been established. This talk will cover current research at the University of Arizona that traces the potential for emerging contaminants (antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes) to proliferate in recycled water, and to travel through irrigation pathways to our recreational fields and into the human food supply. Our work has established the presence of natural antibiotic resistance in soil and water bacteria, and has further shown that natural resistance is extremely high in soil and water with no previous exposure to recycled water. We contend that there is a need among the research community to use standardized and rigorously validated methods for accurate assessment of bacterial resistance development in the environment. Only then will we be able to correctly identify the mechanisms contributing to the development of antibiotic resistance problem and establish water treatment and management guidelines to decrease public health concerns.
WRRC Director Sharon B. Megdal and Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy Director Robert Varady participated in the Budapest Water Summit, which was held November 28-30, 2016 in Budapest, Hungary. The Summit, with the theme of "Water Connects", had a significant focus on the policies required to achieve the water-related United Nations-2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular, Sustainable Development Goal Six calls for ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
During 2017, the Water Resources Research Center will work tirelessly to bring trusted water information to Arizona stakeholders and to share Arizona's water story with others. We will connect water consumers with natural restoration actions through Conserve2Enhance. We will bring the world of water to K-12 students through Arizona Project WET. We will train students and instill a passion for Arizona's water sustainability. And through our Water RAPIDS program, we will engage and help Arizona communities as they face extremely difficult water resource decisions.
Copper King's Water Academy students wanted to engage 4th and 5th graders in learning water concepts. These 7th and 8th grade students learned how difficult it is to balance inquiry, exploration, and discovery with structure and discipline when teaching.
Kerry Schwartz has built water stewardship in Arizona through the development and delivery of STEM instruction as the Director of Arizona Project WET. Now, she has the opportunity to lead other experts in water education on an international level. This month, Kerry was invited to sit on the Board of Directors for the Project WET Foundation along with Thomas Atkins, Housing Program Director with the USDA, Richard R. Arnold II, Mission Specialist at NASA, and others.
This year the WRRC is trying something new by focusing its 104b grants program on student research projects. The program, authorized under the Water Resources Research Act, Section 104(b) and funded through the U.S. Geological Survey, provides small grants for research that explores new ideas to address water problems in Arizona and expands understanding of water and related phenomena.