LAS VEGAS – WaterStart, based on the Las Vegas campus of the Desert Research Institute, recently received a $25,000 grant from Wells Fargo as part of its Clean Technology and Innovation program, which seeks to accelerate the transition to a lower-carbon economy by nurturing a multi-stakeholder, cleantech ecosystem that supports the advancement and commercialization of emerging clean technologies.
WaterStart will use the grant for a project with METAWATER, a Japanese-based company focused on developing an innovative online sensor technology.
“We are pleased to support WaterStart and the METAWATER project,” said Mary Wenzel, head of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs at Wells Fargo. “The advanced sensor technology promises to help drive more sustainable and effective wastewater treatment, which we believe can promote significant efficiencies for large-scale commercial and municipal water managers.”
METAWATER’s online sensor aims to detect bromate, an unwanted byproduct of ozonation used in advanced water treatment processes, in real time. Treatment plant operators can use this data to make subtle adjustments to the ozonation process, maintaining protection against potential pathogens while minimizing bromate formation. Ultimately, the goal is to use information provided through the METAWATER technology to predict and minimize the compound’s formation.
The Wells Fargo grant is helping WaterStart fund the first phase of a $60,000 project between METAWATER and researchers from the UNLV Department of Civil and Environment Engineering and Construction, to commercialize the new technology and fund a student who will be leading the research component of the bromate sensor project and preparing a publication summarizing the results.
Phase one also involves water quality scientists with the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s (SNWA) Applied Research and Development Laboratory. SNWA has installed the sensor at its treatment facility to evaluate initial pre-treatment operations and provide an initial report to further optimize the sensor.
“Wells Fargo understands the evolving need to support new projects focused on solving environmental challenges, and WaterStart is proud to be a partner in these aligned efforts to help provide a channel for innovation and pathway to commercialization of clean technologies,” said WaterStart Executive Director Nate Allen. “This program’s support of METAWATER, in collaboration with UNLV and SNWA, will deliver long-term, measurable results to further promote the development of technology that contributes to safe and reliable water.”
WaterStart is a cluster of global leaders in the implementation of water innovation. Based on the Las Vegas campus of the Desert Research Institute, WaterStart leverages the strategic resources and expertise of its network to evaluate and demonstrate the performance of water innovation. As a channel for innovation, WaterStart accelerates the rate of adoption of new solutions to real challenges facing water management agencies and large consumers.
For more information, visit www.waterstart.com.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,300 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 268,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2017 rankings of America’s largest corporations. The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Wells Fargo No. 3 on its most recent list of the top corporate cash philanthropists. In 2016, Wells Fargo donated $281.3 million to 14,900 nonprofits and Wells Fargo team members volunteered 1.73 million hours with 50,000 nonprofits. Wells Fargo’s corporate social responsibility efforts are focused on three priorities: economic empowerment in underserved communities, environmental sustainability, and advancing diversity and social inclusion. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.