By David Shamah

Israel’s got one of the most advanced water desalination programs in the world and dozens of successful water conservation and reclamation projects. Now, cutting-edge Israeli research on water technology will make its way to American academia, as the University of Chicago and Ben-Gurion University have signed a partnership agreement to create new water production and purification technologies for deployment in regions of the globe where freshwater resources are scarce — based on nanotechnology.

The plan includes the establishment of a research center based in both Chicago and Beersheba where “the molecular aspects of water science and technology will result in a powerful new approach for addressing the various and pervasive challenges to the global water supply,” said University of Chicago president Robert J. Zimmer at a March 8 signing ceremony in Chicago with BGU president Rivka Carmi…

…Leading the Chicago side of the collaboration will be Matthew Tirrell, the Pritzker Director of UChicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering. Tirrell’s team will include scientists from Argonne National Laboratory, which UChicago manages for the US Department of Energy. Leading the Israeli side will be Moshe Gottlieb, BGU’s Frankel Professor of Chemical Engineering.

“Water is the most fundamental molecule for sustaining all forms of life, but it is in dramatically short supply in many parts of the world,” Tirrell said. “Water in all parts of the world faces numerous threats, which in turn endanger human and economic health.” The dangers include increased demand driven by energy production, agricultural runoff, depletion and contamination of aquifers by salt water and by industrial, organic and biological toxins.
“Such large-scale problems must be met by solutions developed from a comprehensive and integrated science and technology base of the type we will establish between the University of Chicago and Ben-Gurion University,” Tirrell said…

Continue Reading at Times of Israel…

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