“Having experienced firsthand the challenges we face when confronted with water insecurity has made me dedicate my career to working on water sustainability and climate resilience. I am an environmental data scientist researching how natural water resources respond to changing climate and to disturbances. My research involves building data-driven models by using machine learning and other methods.”

“The human demand for freshwater is growing. Yet our natural resources are nearly tapped out, and climate change is expected to make it worse. It’s urgent that we find ways to reuse the water we’ve already taken from the environment.”

“Our study is an important step toward lowering the cost of desalination. It’s also a great example of what’s possible in the national lab system, where interdisciplinary collaborations between the basic sciences and applied sciences can lead to creative solutions to hard problems benefiting generations to come.”

Mountain watersheds provide 60 to 90% of water resources worldwide, but there is still much that scientists don’t know about the physical processes and interactions that affect hydrology in these ecosystems. And thus, the best Earth system computer models struggle to predict the timing and availability of water resources emanating from mountains. Now a team of U.S. Department of Energy scientists led by Berkeley Lab aims to plug that gap, with an ambitious campaign to collect a vast array of measurements that will allow scientists to better understand the future of water in the West.

The National Alliance for Water Innovation, or NAWI, was founded in 2017 by three Department of Energy (DOE) national labs — Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory — to establish the next DOE Energy Innovation Hub. Along with a core group of industry and academic partners, NAWI formed a research consortium to examine the critical technical barriers and research needs to radically lower the cost and energy of desalination. NAWI is led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and headquartered in Berkeley, California.