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University of Arizona Engineering College pursues water technology innovation cluster
Date:2/19/2013

The University of Arizona has taken the lead in joining the growing number of U.S. regions planning their futures around water-based economies by creating water technology innovation clusters.

Water clusters build networks of universities, governments and businesses that serve as catalysts for economic development and protection one of the world's most precious resources.

In the University's latest show of support for a regional water cluster, the College of Engineering on Jan. 31 hosted a workshop featuring keynote speaker Sally Gutierrez, the Environmental Protection Agency's new director of the highly successful cluster "Confluence" in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"There is no doubt in my mind that you have the assets here in Arizona," said Gutierrez, who was the director for eight years of the EPA's National Risk Management Research Laboratory in Cincinnati, which employs more than 400 environmental and chemical engineers, chemists, microbiologists, economists, hydrologists and other staff focused on water.

"You have a great infrastructure," she said. "Many programs already exist at the University of Arizona and in the surrounding communities."

The UA, home to several research centers and institutes dedicated to water quality and environmental sustainability and teeming with water and environmental experts, already is a global leader in climate, environmental, water and energy sustainability research.

The region has a head start in establishing a water cluster, Gutierrez said, thanks to the research and lab resources at the University coupled with abundant business incubator and development resources, innovative technology companies, water utilities doing a good job of ramping up conservation programs, forward-thinking state policymakers, and a green Tucson infrastructure.

The UA already is collaborating with Pima County on a future water campus, an integral part of the county's investment in the largest p
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Contact: Karina Barrentine
karinab@email.arizona.edu
520-621-0191
University of Arizona College of Engineering
Source:Eurekalert

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