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One Health COE Awarded $3 Million Grant for Water SENSE

The One Health Center of Expertise has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant for their project Water SENSE — Water Social, Engineering, and Natural Sciences Engagement. The $3 million Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) grant will support 22 graduate students over five years at the COE’s UC Riverside hub to become water scholars, fellows who are able to address the complex and pressing problem of water scarcity affected by population growth, urbanization, and climate change.

The vision of UCR’s Water SENSE IGERT will be realized by integrating expertise on water drawn from a variety of disciplines to develop practical, cost-effective, and sustainable solutions to improve the quantity and quality of water available and people’s use of this water. This expertise will be utilized by having cohorts of IGERT students focus on the water issues in the California/Mexico border region of Imperial County, California. The lessons learned here can be extrapolated to numerous other water-short regions where international border issues are involved.

The Water SENSE IGERT fellows will engage in applied research that can improve water quantity and quality, thereby reducing exposure to waterborne diseases, increasing the supply of potable water, and improving human well-being. This will be accomplished through the development of multidisciplinary teams who will integrate their disciplinary knowledge towards the solution of the complex and severe water problems in the California-Mexico border region of the Imperial Valley. Five major research themes have been identified: 1) Public education; 2) Water policy/management; 3) Waterborne contaminant detection/effects; 4) Vector/disease control; and 5) Water treatment and remediation.

The Water SENSE IGERT is intended to produce scholars who will be able to work in leadership positions in government, private, and nonprofit organizations interested in improving community health and child development outcomes via improved water supply, utilization, and management.

The Principal Investigator for the Water SENSE IGERT at UC Riverside is Peter Atkinson and the Co-Investigators are Anil Deolalikar, Mary Gauvain, Sharon Walker, and Marylynn Yates.