Focus & Recent Advancements

Water managers in 40 out of 50 U.S. states expect water shortages in some portion of their states in the next 10 years. Population and water usage trends indicate a further stress on water supplies; population has increased 99% since 1950 which coincided with a 127% increase in water use. The problem goes beyond supply issues. Excessive anthropogenic nutrient pollution has led to eutrophication of more than two-thirds of U.S. estuaries and bays. On average, 25% of U.S. beaches are closed at least once per year because of water pollution. Over 286M Americans consume water supplied by a community water system, a system which meets EPA’s drinking water standards 92% of the time. We must work to find creative ways to conserve, reuse, recycle, and treat water in order to avoid further water supply and water quality issues.

Southern Research is actively engaged with our partners in search of innovative, cost-effective water technologies. We are working to develop technology that helps ensure we have adequate supply of clean, safe water for the next generation. Example technologies include: industrial wastewater treatment technology, continuous water quality monitoring devices, biological systems for salinity management, boron treatment technologies, solidification/stabilization of brines or solids produced wastewater treatment, recovery of valuable nutrients or metals from wastewater streams, technologies that eliminate or minimize the use of water such as dry or hybrid cooling.

Capabilities and Expertise

SR has developed a new business focused on clean water technologies. We employ experts in a variety of fields critical to water technology development including membrane treatment, civil engineering, chemical engineering, solidification/stabilization, trace metal chemistry, water chemistry, analytical chemistry, biological treatment, genetic engineering, agricultural engineering, and food-water-energy modeling. These experts are working on technologies to 1) treat industrial wastewater, 2) minimize or eliminate water withdrawals, 3) continuously monitor contaminants in water streams, and 4) manage salinity. Our group has the capability to independently validate new technologies, develop new technologies, and consult on a wide-range of topics (e.g. treatability studies, market analysis, techno-economic analysis, lifecycle assessment, benchmarking).