Working Together on Water and Energy – A framework for collaboration between Tel Aviv University and UCI

In September 2016, D. Feldman led a delegation to Israel comprised of Professors Tim Bradley (Biology/Salton Sea Initiative), Stanley Grant (Civil & Environmental Engineering/NSF PIRE project), Gudrun Magnusdottir (Earth Systems Science) and Water UCI post-doctoral researcher Shannon Roback to develop long-term collaboration on water issue with TAU. In November, Professors Itai Sened (Hartog School of Public Policy & Gershon School of Social Sciences, TAU) and D. Feldman (UCI) concluded a framework agreement identifying initial projects and the resources and institutional support required to nurture the collaboration.

Initial projects are:

  • Salton Sea/Dead Sea Connection: Challenges & Opportunities. We will compare water management, international relations, and engineering aspects of these two iconic lakes. Students and faculty will travel between Israel and the US to study engineering and policy issues drawn from Israel’s experience in restoration.
  • Low Impact Development in Orange County and Tel Aviv: Improving Coastal Water Quality. We will explore how the coastlines of California and Israel could be “re-engineered” to improve beach water quality by examining opportunities and barriers to green infrastructure aimed at collecting, retaining, evapo-transpiring, treating, and utilizing dry and wet weather runoff from urban landscapes. Investigations of biofilters, rain gardens, and bioswales will be pursued.
  • Building Capacity for Sustainable Locally Sourced Drinking Water in Orange County and Israel: The Water-Energy Nexus. We will assess the energy impact of diverse technologies to provide drinking water, including the type of energy being used. We will consider advantages and disadvantages of long-distance diversion, groundwater depletion and augmentation; urban versus agricultural competition; and trans-boundary management of climate change impacts.