Johns Hopkins professor to speak on improving groundwater reserves

Johns Hopkins professor to speak on improving groundwater reserves

Athens, Ga. – As drought and development issues continue to cloud the future water availability of many areas including the state of Georgia, improving local aquifers is an area of increasing attention and research. A leading expert on underground storage technology will visit the University of Georgia to discuss recent assessments of water quality and availability.

On Thursday, March 20, UGA welcomes Edward Bouwer, professor of environmental engineering at Johns Hopkins University, as speaker in the ongoing engineering seminar series, Innovations at the Interface. Sponsored by the Faculty of Engineering, Bouwer’s seminar will be held in room 214 of the Student Learning Center at 4 p.m.

Bouwer is director of the EPA-funded Hazardous Substance Research Center, serves on the editorial boards of two prominent scientific journals covering the subjects of bio- and hydrologic contamination, and recently chaired a National Research Council committee on underground storage technology and implementation.

Systems for managed underground storage of recoverable water have been in use for decades, though challenges have emerged from the development of new systems utilizing different methods of recharge, storage aquifers, source water and recovery. Minimizing the hydrologic impact of aquifer depletion is the primary goal of groundwater recharge projects.

Groundwater recharge can also reduce or eliminate ground surface subsidence as oil and gas, as well as water, is removed from the subsurface. In Savannah, Phoenix, Houston, New Orleans and Venice, Italy, water injection has helped to restore subsurface pressures, thus allowing the surface load to be supported.

Bouwer serves as professor and department chair in the geography and environmental engineering department at Johns Hopkins University. His career includes extensive experience with microbial process engineering, bioremediation processes and contaminant transport and fate.

“Dr. Bouwer comes to UGA at a time when water quality issues are front and center to a variety of issues and developments in our state,” said seminar series chair K.C. Das. “The extent and impact of current drought conditions in Georgia presents an important opportunity to learn from and interact with a national expert like Dr. Bouwer.”

The seminar and discussion series is designed to bring together faculty and students who are interested in technology and how it impacts society. This talk will reflect recent national-level findings on the biogeochemical, engineering and institutional factors that may affect the performance of managed underground storage technology.

The presentation by Bouwer will be followed by a reception. The monthly seminar series is free and open to public. For more information, please visit http://www.engineering.uga.edu/events/ .

The UGA Faculty of Engineering was established in 2001 to advance comprehensive engineering at the University of Georgia. With more than 100 members from twenty-four departments in nine schools and colleges across campus, the Faculty of Engineering provides an entrepreneurial setting for engineering academic programs in the unique environment of UGA. For more information, see www.engineering.uga.edu .