CWEA Monthly Webinar hosted by the Howard University's Student Chapter

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Eastern
Event Type(s)
CWEA Event
Event Description

TOPIC: Environmental justice: Role of science, engineering, and policy in ensuring equity in urban water systems (Jones); Biofilms for resource efficient and resilient wastewater treatment (Delgado)

Speakers: Jeseth Delgado Vela (; Kimberly L. Jones (

Environmental Justice: Urban environments, particularly rapidly developing centers such as the Washington, D.C. area, with its close proximity to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, are important testbeds to develop systemic, equitable access to environmental services such as green infrastructure and safe, reliable drinking water. Science and engineering solutions must be integrated with policy in order to conceptualize and implement solutions that meet the needs of disparate and competing jurisdictions. Importantly, these solutions must be effectively communicated to all stakeholders. In this talk, I will discuss various issues around environmental justice and equity in the water sector.

Biofilms: Amid the challenges of climate change, aging infrastructure, and urbanization environmental engineers must develop an equitable, environmentally sustainable, and cost-efficient urban water cycle. I will highlight results from modeling and lab scale systems showing how biofilms present an opportunity for achieving these advances. For example, our findings show that sulfide may help reduce energy requirements of nitrification (by reducing the aeration requirements) and reduce the need for external electron donors for denitrification in emerging multi-redox biofilm treatment technologies. I will show also show how biofilm treatment processes may provide the potential for enhanced process resiliency due to biofilm treatment processes. By integrating modeling and experimental approaches across multiple scales, I uncover unique insights into microbial processes in our urban water system. 

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