..:: News Releases » 2005  » PR:(05/03/05) CHIWAWA Water Consortium ::..
News Release

May 3, 2005

Media Contact: Bob Currey,
Associate Director
UTEP Center for Environmental Resource Management; or
David Peregrino
Writer, UTEP University Communications

Universities and Utilities Form Water Partnership

CHIWAWA coordinates water-management education and desalination research

With major inland water desalination plants in the works, El Paso and Alamogordo will turn to a virtually limitless supply of brackish water for their future water needs.

And an increasingly thirsty world—particularly those in arid lands—will turn to our region’s water managers and researchers for valuable lessons about creating sustainable water supplies.

In response, the El Paso Water Utilities Board, City of Alamogordo, University of Texas at El Paso, Texas A&M University and New Mexico State University have joined forces to provide opportunities for research, education and outreach programs related to water management and desalination technology.

At a press conference today in Las Cruces, members announced the name and further details of the partnership, known as CHIWAWA: Consortium for Hi-Technology Investigations in Water and Wastewater.

Desalinated water will be an important source of our future water supply. Desalination projects planned for the region include the Fort Bliss/El Paso Desalination Plant, Alamogordo Municipal Desalination Plant and the Tularosa Basin National Desalination Research Facility.

“This is a great opportunity to link Texas and New Mexico institutions in a collaborative effort to address one of this region’s--indeed the world’s--most critical issues,” said UTEP President Diana Natalicio. “We are delighted to join with our colleagues to establish the Paso del Norte region as an internationally recognized center of excellence for desalination research, education, and training.”

CHIWAWA will be the driver behind a variety of important activities in the region, including:

• The organization of conferences, training programs, short courses and meetings on issues related to water treatment, conservation, water resource management, and desalination.

• Joint research in desalination technologies, brine management, and assessment of brackish water supplies.

• Working together to inform and assist all stakeholders in the region’s water supply.

Members announced they will request $4 million in funding from Congress for CHIWAWA for the 2006 fiscal year.

“El Paso Water Utilities is pleased to work with the City of Alamogordo and the three universities in the area of desalination and other water related projects,” said Hector Gonzalez, strategic business manager for El Paso Water Utilities. “The consortium's efforts at promoting research, technology transfer, and education are very exciting. EPWU looks forward in continuing to work with its regional partners to advance scientific research that will allow us to maintain sustainable water supplies.”

For more information, call Bob Currey, associate director of CERM at 747-6274.


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