SDC12776

About The UCI Water-Energy Nexus (WEX) Center

The WEX Center promotes comprehensive and trans-disciplinary approaches to water efficiency, energy efficiency, and greenhouse gas reduction in the water sector of urban environment with a diverse, rapidly growing population.

The WEX Center’s mission is to advance the understanding of the water environment and the energy-water nexus for urban areas and their surroundings, in order to assist people and institutions in their efforts to promote health, enhance the efficient use of water resources and protect environmental values. The WEX aims to promote excellence in urban water research and education at UCI by facilitating the integration of research in basic and applied science, engineering, and social sciences. The WEX also aims to bridge with entities outside academia to advance societal and industrial applications of fundamental and applies research to inform and aid policy makers and to educate the public on urban water sustainability in Orange County, California, the United States and beyond.

Our institute serves utilities and policy makers through scientific research, providing resources for long-term planning, training the next generation of water resource professionals. The WEX Center also serves the broader community by enhancing the efficient use of water resources, promoting public health, and fostering environmental quality.

Over 80 faculty members from multiple departments pursue research that addresses water supply; global climate change impacts on water resources and water quality planning; ecosystem health; water demand using economic tools; wastewater treatment and reuse; and institutional, legal, and public policy issues related to urban water management.

The WEX assists UCI researchers by promoting innovative research via seed funding and matching funds. The Center provides a forum for communication between researchers across the University and between UCI faculty and regional water utilities and professionals. This partnership provides research, graduate education, and conducts public information programs.

Objectives

  • To act as a collaborative bridge between our faculty members and our external partners (i.e. water agencies, government, industries) to advance research and education at the water–energy nexus
  • To advance fundamental knowledge on energy efficiency of water management, treatment, distribution, and end-use
  • To advance fundamental knowledge on greenhouse gas emission (e.g., production, emission, capture, mitigation, adaptation, monitoring, modeling) from water and wastewater processes and infrastructure
  • To study the effectiveness of water efficiency (e.g. conservation and reuse), energy efficiency (i.e. optimization, reduction and recovery), and greenhouse gas reduction strategies in the water sector
  • To exploit productive synergies among water and energy systems to increase education and promote safe and productive use of nontraditional water sources