Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Meet our Advisory Board

We are incredibly proud to present our Advisory Board, a group of distinguished experts in the field of water research and technology, who will provide us with valuable external perspectives on our current plans and strategy, and will actively help us shape the future of the journal.

Let’s find out a bit more about them:

Nandita Basu
University of Waterloo, Canada

Nandita is an Assistant Professor of Water Sustainability and Ecohydrology at the University of Waterloo, in Canada. Her research revolves around an interest in the sustainable management of water resources. The question of sustainable management of water is inherently interdisciplinary and requires research at the interfaces of hydrology, biogeochemistry, ecology, social sciences and economics. Her expertise lies at the interface of hydrology and chemistry, but she is also actively involved in collaborations with ecologists, social scientists and economists to explore other interfaces.


Dionysios Dionysiou
University of Cincinnati, USA

Professor Dionysiou is a UNESCO Chair Professor on “Water Access and Sustainability” and a Herman Schneider Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Cincinnati where he teaches courses on drinking water quality and treatment, advanced unit operations for water treatment, advanced oxidation technologies, and physical-chemical processes for water quality control. His research interests include treatment of water contaminated by harmful algal blooms with conventional and advanced technologies, advanced technologies for water treatment, advanced oxidation technologies, transition metal-based chemical oxidation, and nanotechnology.

Ferdi L. Hellweger
Northeastern University, USA

Dr. Hellweger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University. His research interests are in the ecology of microbes in surface water systems, including harmful algal blooms in lakes and antibiotic resistance in rivers. He specialises in the development and application of mathematical models, with a focus on agent-based techniques. Locally, he is especially interested in the Charles River and wants to contribute to making it swimmable again. His goal is to build a forecast system that can be used to predict when & where it is safe to swim.


Jun Ma
Harbin Institute of Technology, China

Professor Ma is the Changjiang Scholar Professor at Harbin Institute of Technology and the Deputy Director of the National Engineering Research Center of Urban Water Resources, China. Jun’s interest has been in the area of water and wastewater treatment, he has been working in the processes of oxidation, nanoparticles and membranes.  He is the recipient of China Young Scientist Award, and the Achievement Award of Chiangjiang Scholars (Engineering Science Award) and holds over 80 invention patents and over 180 peer reviewed international journal papers.


Julie Minton
WateReuse Foundation, USA

Julie Minton has been the Director of Research Programs for the WateReuse Research Foundation for nearly five years and previously worked at the Foundation managing research projects.  She is responsible for planning and managing a comprehensive research program and staff.  Collectively, they manage over 50 active projects, worth more than $6 million annually. Ms. Minton has the programmatic responsibility for the Foundation’s fundraising initiatives, federal grants and cooperative agreements and has directed programmatic monitoring, reporting, outputs, and outcomes on multiple federal, state, and partner awards totaling over $20 million. Ms. Minton is also responsible for maintaining collaborative relationships with U.S. and international research organizations, cooperative funding of research programs and projects, and joint outreach activities. She has a B.A. in Biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.


Simon Parsons
Scottish Water, UK

Simon Parsons is Director of Strategic Customer Service Planning at Scottish Water. He was formerly Chief Scientist and General Manager of Scientific Services and represented Scottish Water in science, research and public health communities. Simon won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s prestigious Sustainable Water Award for 2014 for advancing the understanding of natural organic matter in water treatment and for the development of treatment processes to improve water quality and sustainability.


Kai Udert
EAWAG, Switzerland

Dr. Udert has a background in environmental engineering. He received his PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich in 2003. After a postdoctoral appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he joined the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) in 2006. His main research focus has been on decentralized wastewater treatment and source separation. Besides working as a researcher, Dr Udert is also a lecturer at ETH Zurich for process engineering in water and wastewater treatment.


Lizhong Zhu
Zhejiang University, China

Lizhong Zhu is a Professor in Environmental Science and Director of Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. His research mainly focuses on interfacial behavior of organic pollutants and its regulation technology, which are essential to understanding source-sink dynamics, predicting bioavailability, and developing new pollution control materials and methods.


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All in all, a team of leaders in water research who are happy to join us in our great adventure.

Do you want to know more about the latest news in the journal? Follow us on Twitter @ESWater_RSC!

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Sanitation Themed Collection

The Editorial Board of Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology is encouraging submissions in the area of sanitation research.


Accepted articles on this topic will be gathered in an online themed collection to be highlighted on the journal website. Submissions on research in the following areas are welcome:

  • Novel onsite sanitation technologies
  • Sanitation solutions for areas with high water tables
  • Sanitation for emergency relief situations
  • Faecal sludge properties, emptying methods, and treatment
  • Biogas recovery technologies at household or small community scales
  • Sanitation service models
  • The role of sanitation in improving health
  • Cost-benefit and sustainability assessments of sanitation options
  • Simplified sewerage and drainage
  • Urban sanitation challenges and large-scale solutions
  • We welcome original research articles, communications and review papers on these topics.


    Submit your paper by 31st December 2015!

    Prospective authors may wish to read Pitfalls and Progress: A Perspective on Achieving Sustainable Sanitation for All*’ by Dr Michael R. Templeton of Imperial College London and an Editorial Board member, which was published in the first issue of the journal.

    There are many benefits to publishing with us, including wide exposure to your publication, as all content published during 2015 & 2016 is free* to access.

    For more information on our scope and author guidelines, please visit our website or email us at eswater-rsc@rsc.org.


    ESWRT Banner

    *Access is free through an RSC registered account.

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    Our first Editorial Board Meeting!

    Issue 1The first Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology Board Meeting was hosted in Chicago last week and it was an absolute success, with an astonishing 100% of attendance. It was an incredibly busy day, full of development ideas, plans for exciting new projects and long term vision plans.

    We aspire to be the premier journal in the area of water resource management for the built environment, and our team is working enthusiastically to achieve this goal. To that end, we have assembled a tremendous group of respected global leaders in the area of water research and technology for our editorial board and associate editors.

    There are also several practical advantages to submitting to Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology: we have no page or word restrictions, fast publication (< 90 days), colour figures are free, and if accepted, our team in Cambridge will work tirelessly to promote your work through social media and our blogs. But this is not all, please see the full list of benefits!

    “Although Issue 1 was only recently published, we believe it is the start of something incredibly special.”

    David Cwiertny, Editor-in-Chief

    Editorial Board Meeting

    We sincerely hope you will join us in this great new adventure!

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    First issue is now available!

    ESWRT Cake

    Last week, we were tremendously excited to announce the publication of our first issue of Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology. This inaugural issue was introduced by David M. Cwiertny, Editor-in-Chief of the journal.

    In his editorial ‘To new beginnings and a better alternative’, he stated our strong commitment to grow a footprint in the water and environmental research.

    The launch of this journal would not have been possible without an incredibly professional and capable Editorial Board. Therefore, we included a Profile article with mini-biographies so you can meet them and read more about their background.

    Cake cutting

    This issue contained three HOT articles which obtained particularly high scores during peer review.

    In the first of them, researchers from the Manchester Metropolitan University discussed the quantification of corrosion inhibitors used in the water industry for steam condensate treatment.

    The second article was brought to us by Michael Templeton, who wrote an insightful perspective on achieving sustainable sanitation for all.

    And last but not least, the group of Zhiyong Jason Ren presented a research on microbial capacitive desalination and energy production from unconventional natural gas produced water in our third HOT article.

    In our office in Cambridge, this special event called for some celebration and we enjoyed an incredible cake with the cover of this first issue.

    We hope you enjoy reading Issue 1 as much as we did. We are now relentlessly working on our next ones to keep up the incredible high standards set up in the inaugural issue. Be ready!

    —————————-
    Read our first issue:
    01 January 2015, Issue 1,  Page 1 to 122
    Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology
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    Energy-water-food nexus: “All the pieces matter”

    As far as technical reports go, the Soggy Lettuce Report (2004) is as delightful a name as any. According to the report: “More money is wasted on food each year [in the United Kingdom] than any other category of goods and services – a whopping ₤424 per person.” But money isn’t the only loss – gone with the wasted soggy lettuce are its embodied energy and water.

    The Nexus: Energy, water and food are inextricably intertwined. In a recent forum, Machell et al. discuss the interdependencies between the three (also called the Energy-Food-Water Nexus). “Food production consumes both water and energy in order to grow, harvest, clean and prepare food.” (Machell et al.) Water and energy are interdependent too. Water is indispensable for every phase of energy production. Steam generation for electricity, extraction of fossil fuels, and cultivation of biofuel crops – all of these depend on water. On the other hand, it takes energy to treat and distribute water for human use.Energy-Water-Food Nexus

    So, letting food go to waste means we are also wasting water. Leaving a faucet running unnecessarily wastes not only water, but also the energy it took to extract, treat and send the water to that faucet. By leaving the lights on or letting an idling car needlessly guzzle fuel (petrol, diesel, and yes, even electricity), we are wasting energy that could have been used to clean water or grow food.

    Policy implications: It is important that we develop future policies using the nexus perspective. “…[C]auses that might upset the nexus balance are increasingly requiring global solutions and there is a great need for joined-up activities between stakeholders to mitigate future resource conflicts.” (Machell et al.)

    A deeper understanding of this nexus balance will help us change our perceptions and consumption patterns. That soggy lettuce that we throw away has far-reaching environmental implications as well as opportunities for energy recovery [1,2,3]. International trade [4], climate and water policies [5], renewable energy [6,7], and wastewater treatment [8] have interlinked environmental and social impacts [9] that can be identified only through comprehensive nexus analysis. As mentioned in the article, “The complex relationships in the water energy food nexus, require informed production and consumption decisions for the near future that can mitigate negative impacts on risk, security, and the environment.”

    The Wire had it right: The interdependencies between energy, water and food cannot be compartmentalized and studied in isolation. Detective Lester Freamon said it best: “All the pieces matter.”

    Find out how by reading the full article for free*:

    The water energy food nexus – challenges and emerging solutions
    Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2015, 1, 15-16
    DOI: 10.1039/C4EW90001D

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    About the webwriter

    Paramjeet Pati is a PhD Candidate at the Virginia Tech Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology (@VTSuN).
    You can find more articles by him in the VTSuN blog, where he writes using the name
    coffeemug.

    —————-

    *Access is free through a registered RSC account.

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    Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology Special Issue

    Are you currently doing research in an area of potable water reuse?

    We are delighted to announce a special themed issue, dedicated to recent advances associated with the potable reuse of water, which will be published in 2015 in Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology.

    The Editor-in-Chief David. M Cwiertny, and Associate Editor Stuart Khan, are encouraging submissions highlighting research technology and engineering development at the leading edge of potable water reuse.

    This special issue will combine a variety of topic areas that are relevant to Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology. Submissions in the following areas are welcome:

    •           Technical innovations facilitating potable reuse

    •           Human health risk assessment of potable reuse

    •           The role and efficiency of environmental buffers in indirect potable reuse

    •           Monitoring strategies in potable water reuse systems

    •           Assessment and regulation of potable water reuse projects

    •           Public perception of direct and indirect potable reuse

    •           Sustainability assessment for potable reuse

    •           Technical challenges, particularly relating to direct potable reuse

    •           Novel applications of direct and indirect potable reuse

    Submit your Paper!

    We welcome original research papers, communications and Review articles.

    For more information on the scope of Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology and our author guidelines, please visit our website or email us at ESWater-rsc@rsc.org

    Submission Deadline: 15th February 2015

    We hope to receive a manuscript from you or your group soon!

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    Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology

    Here is a few reminders of the great benefits of publishing with Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology:

    Environmental Science Water
    Free colour on all figures

    – No page charges and no page limits

    Fast Publication (average of 40 days from receipt to acceptance)

    – Wide exposure: free access to all content for the first 2 years after launch*

    – Individual promotion of HOT articles

    – Papers processed by peers in the field

    – High quality content

    – Free electronic reprints

    – Simple and effective submission process

    Submit now!

    *ES: Water Research & Technology was launched in 2015. Access is free through a registered RSC Publishing account.

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    Removing phosphate from water

    On 5th October 2014, Drake took a short swim in the lake in Lindon Harbor, Utah. Drake was a black Labrador retriever. Like most dogs, he loved to play in the water. After the swim, Drake started vomiting and became lethargic. Shortly after that, Drake died. “[D]og deaths have emerged as an unfortunate early warning…” An early warning of what?

    When blooms aren’t beautiful and nutrients don’t nourish

    Recent dog deaths have pointed to one suspect: pond scum – or more specifically – harmful algal blooms. Some algae produce toxins that have been linked to the deaths of cattle, elks, fishes, and even endangered species such as sea otters. These toxins can also bioaccumulate in shellfish and oysters. Eat enough seafood seasoned with these toxins, and you are at risk too.

    What’s causing these algal blooms?

    Natural waters contain small amounts of nutrients (mostly nitrate and phosphate). Under normal conditions, planktons and algae grow using these nutrients, fish feed on the plankton, and things are in balance.

    But excess nutrients in the water can skew the balance in favour of the algae, allowing them to spread unchecked like weeds. Even if they don’t produce toxins the algae block light as they sun themselves on the water surface. These harmful algal blooms alter marine and freshwater habitats, smothering other forms of aquatic life. This map gives an idea of how bad the situation has become.

    Why are nutrient concentrations increasing?

    Excess nutrients enter the water when rain washes fertilizers from agricultural land into the nearby water bodies. Other major sources of nutrients are industrial and domestic wastewater. In short, the blame falls squarely on us humans – me and you.

    Water treatment and nutrient removal

    It is our mess and we have to clean it. Researchers have been actively developing more efficient ways for removing nutrients from drinking water and wastewater. In a recent article, Lalley et al. reported a novel method for removing phosphate (a growth-limiting nutrient).

    The authors present clever modifications of an absorptive medium (originally developed for removing arsenic from water) using silver and manganese nanoparticles. One of these modifications involves tea extract.

    What could the humble tea have to do with this method for phosphate removal? Find out by reading the full article for free*:

    Phosphate removal using modified Bayoxide® E33 adsorption media
    Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2015, Advance Article
    DOI: 10.1039/C4EW00020J

    —————-

    About the webwriter

    Paramjeet Pati is a PhD Candidate at the Virginia Tech Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology (@VTSuN).
    You can find more articles by him in the VTSuN blog, where he writes using the name
    coffeemug.

    —————-

    *Access is free through a registered RSC account – click here to register

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    Arsenic removal enhanced by humic acid

    Schematic diagram of humic acid coating

    Schematic diagram of humic acid coating on iron-based graphene composites

    After tragic events like the devastating arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh in 2010, the exposure of drinking water to arsenic is a very serious concern worldwide.

    Past studies have shown that removal of arsenic by nanoparticles in the presence of Humic Acid (HA) has a negative role. Now, for the first time, Blain Paul and colleagues have reported a positive influence of HA on graphene–Fe3O4 nano-composites for the removal of arsenic in water.

    Contradictory to the general belief that HA has a negative effect on the ability of any system to absorb arsenic from water, this remarkable study demonstrates a role reversal of HA where it actually enhances the ability of graphene-Fe3O4 nano-composite to remove arsenic from ground water.

    Researchers from the University of Johannesburg assembled Fe3O4 nanoparticles on graphene oxide sheets and coated with humic acid. The humic acid coating not only enhanced the nano-composites absorption ability, but almost doubled the removal efficiency of As(III) and As(V), opening a new dimension in the practical utilisation of nanotechnology in water research for arsenic removal.

    Download the full paper for free* to find out how humic acid coating could significantly alter mechanism through π–π interactions, positively enhancing the removal of arsenic from water:

    Graphene in the Fe3O4 nano-composite switching the negative influence of humic acid coating into an enhancing effect in the removal of arsenic from water
    Blain Paul, Vyom Parashara and Ajay Mishra
    Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2015, Advance Article
    DOI: 10.1039/ C4EW00034J

    *Access is free through a registered RSC account – click here to register

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    Energy positive treatment for fracking water

    $5 billion (£3 billion) is the estimated annual cost for disposing of contaminated water produced during shale gas extraction. Now, researchers in the US have developed a new technology that could reduce the cost of dealing with this water by 30–40%.

    Reclaimed fracking fluid is a significant environmental impediment to the energy industry © FLPA / Alamy

    Hydraulic fracturing, the process used to extract oil and gas from underground rock formations, produces over 20 billion barrels of contaminated water every year. Current methods, such as underground injection, to dispose of these vast quantities of contaminated water have risks, including a chance of initiating earthquakes. Reuse of this water avoids disposal issues, but requires multiple treatment processes to remove contaminants such as salts and organic hydrocarbons.

    Zhiyong Jason Ren and colleagues from the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a technique that can simultaneously remove organic pollutants and salinity from contaminated water whilst producing energy. ‘The beauty of this technology is that it can replace five or six current processes with one to kill multiple birds with one stone,’ he says.

    To read the full article please visit Chemistry World.

    Congratulations to the team at CU-Boulder who were recently awarded first place in the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps Program for the development of this technology.

    With energy companies eager to test the technology in the field, Ren’s team is now working to scale up the process. You can access their full research paper, which is part of our Fracking in Perspective web collection for free* by clicking the link below.

    Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2015, Advance Article
    DOI: 10.1039/C4EW00050A, Paper
    From themed collection Fracking in perspective

    *Access is free through a registered RSC account – click here to register.

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