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BESE Distinguished Lecture Series - Professor Kara Nelson

Start Date: March 26, 2017
End Date: March 26, 2017

TITLE: The Future of Water Recycling in California ​
DATE: Sunday, March 26, 2017

TIME: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Building 9 · Lecture Hall 2 · Room 2325

Recycling wastewater is an essential component of California’s strategy to address water scarcity and climate variability. Approximately 15% of the state’s wastewater is currently reused for purposes such as irrigating agricultural crops or landscapes, industrial use, and recharging groundwater. Efforts are underway to significantly increase water reuse over the next few decades. This talk will highlight innovative new practices under development to advance reuse. The first practice to be highlighted is new treatment approaches to prepare water for irrigation of food crops. The second practice is decentralized reuse for non-potable purposes, in which the wastewater from a single building or a neighborhood is treated on-site and used for flushing toilets. The third practice is direct potable reuse, in which advanced treatment processes are employed to purify wastewater and turn it back into drinking water.​​


Dr. Kara Nelson is a Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research program addresses innovative strategies to increase the sustainability of urban water infrastructure, including technologies for potable and non-potable water reuse, nutrient recovery, decentralized systems, intermittent water supply, household water treatment, and low-cost sanitation. She has published over 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Prof. Nelson leads the Engineering Thrust at ReNUWIt (Reinventing our Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure), recently served on the expert panel advising the State of California on the feasibility of direct potable water reuse, and currently conducts research in the U.S., Panama, Kenya, Bangladesh, and India.​